Brothers Jaxson and Canaan Smith-Njigba Brothers Jaxson and Canaan Smith-Njigba Smith-Njigba brothers

Ohio State star receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba announced Monday that he is heading to the NFL draft and will not play in the College Football Playoff for the Buckeyes.

“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.”

While Smith-Njigba came into the season with a ton of hype, a hamstring injury severely limited his play all year. After breaking the Big Ten record with 1,606 yards last year, he appeared in just three games for OSU in 2022, catching five passes for 43 yards.

While it makes a lot of sense to most people in the football world that JSN would want to heal up and focus on his pro future, ESPN’s Todd McShay threw out a damning report on Tuesday, saying that he’s spoken with NFL scouts who believe the receiver could play but is sitting out to protect his draft stock.

“There are a lot of reports from NFL scouts that I’ve talked to [who] said he’s healthy enough to play and he’s protecting himself for the draft,” McShay said. “I got news for every prospect out there: NFL teams know. They know what you had for lunch last Thursday. They’re gonna know whether you’re healthy or not and if you’re healthy enough to play, you need to be out there with your teammates and play.”

It’s unclear how these scouts know that Smith-Njigba is healthy enough to play, but McShay then criticized the receiver’s intangibles and the fact that he’s not playing “certainly isn’t going to help his cause.”

On Wednesday, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba, Jaxon’s older brother, took to Twitter to push back on McShay and his report.

If he was healthy he would be playing.. like what?? We not protecting our “Draft stock” they know who JSN is when healthy. You sorry [Todd McShay] and so wrong to be on tv making these false claims,” wrote CSN, who then added a clown emoji to make his point.

He had said something similar in a Monday tweet when Jaxon announced he was going pro.

“If it was possible, there would not be a question,” wrote Canaan. “It’s been amazing to watch your journey and success. I am with you my brother as you are taking steps into the next chapter. We will continue to work for what we’ve always dreamed of.”

[Canaan Smith-Njigba]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to