Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba declared for the NFL draft on Monday after he was ruled out of the College Football Playoff with the hamstring injury that sidelined him for most of the season.
The preseason All-American sustained the injury in the season opener and played just parts of two games after that.
"I want to be out there competing with my brothers more than anything," Smith-Njigba told ESPN on Monday. "The decision to turn pro was made after I was unable to come back on multiple occasions during the season and the doctors determined I would be unable to participate in the playoffs."
Smith-Njiba was poised to have a big season after catching 15 passes for 347 yards and three touchdowns in last year's Rose Bowl. He finished 2021 with 1,606 yards receiving, a Big Ten record.
"I want to thank Jaxon for all he has done for our Ohio State program," Ohio State coach Ryan Day said in a statement. "He has had such a major impact here in Columbus, on and off the field, in a relatively short period of time. We all know he has a very bright future ahead of him and we all support him as he moves forward with his career."
Ohio State, the No. 4 seed, will play top-ranked Georgia in the Peach Bowl, a CFP semifinal, on Dec. 31.
--Field Level Media