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Jaxon Smith-Njigba missing Ohio State playoff, will enter NFL draft


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Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who has missed most of this season with a hamstring injury, will miss the team’s College Football Playoff games and start preparing for the NFL draft, the school announced. 

The No. 4 seed Buckeyes will face No. 1 Georgia in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 31 and then possibly play in the national championship game Jan. 9. 

“I want to thank Jaxon for all he has done for our Ohio State program,” 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.”

Smith-Njigba led Ohio State last season 1,606 yards and added nine touchdowns. He was expected to be one of the country’s top receivers, but injured his hamstring early in the team’s season-opening win over Notre Dame. He would return in limited stints against Toledo on Sept. 17 and Iowa on Oct. 22. Smith-Njigba finishes the season with five catches for 43 yards and will now focus on preparing for the NFL draft.

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In the absence of Smith-Njigba, both Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka have emerged as the two biggest receiving threats for Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stround. The pair both have exceeded 1,000 yards and combined for 21 touchdowns as Ohio State ranks No. 2 in scoring at 44.5 points per game.

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