Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the best Wide Receiver in college football and here is why he is set to prove it in 2022.
After his breakout performance against the Utah Utes in the 2022 Rose Bowl Game, it’s easy to see why people think Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the best Wide Receiver in college football. The Sophomore wideout lit the college football world on fire on January 1st, 2022, and showed an entire country why the Ohio State Buckeyes have the best wide receiving corps in the nation heading into the 2022 college football season. In that one game alone he set the school record for most receptions in a game with 15, and the most receiving yards in a bowl game with 347.
Standing at six feet tall and weighing just under 200 pounds the Sophomore from Rockwell, Texas is already lining up to be the next great Ohio State Buckeyes Wide Receiver to make the jump to the National Football League. Jaxon Smith-Njigba was a third team All American and third team all Big Ten Conference during the 2021 season. On top of that, he won the Landry award in 2019 which is given to the best high school football player in the very talented state of Texas. He was also the 2022 Rose Bowl game Most Valuable Player award recipient after his huge game.
He showed flashes of being a solid receiving option in his first year in Columbus as he caught ten passes for forty nine yards and a touchdown in seven games. By the time 2021 came around it may be fair to say that Jaxon Smith-Njgiba was the best kept secret in college football however, that would not be the case for long. He quickly burst onto the scene with a seven catch, 145 yard, two touchdown performance in the Ohio State Buckeyes’ week two loss to the Oregon Ducks, but that was just the beginning.
After a less than stellar week against the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes, he caught a touchdown against the Akron Zips as well as four other balls for a total of 93 yards. Then at Rutgers, he would catch two balls for 66 total yards. After that night in New Jersey, a switch was flipped and Jaxon Smith-Njigba went crazy. He would catch six balls each at Indiana and home against Penn State for nearly one hundred yards a piece. Then he would have his record setting performance against the Cornhuskers where he caught 15 balls for 240 yards and a touchdown.
That game against Nebraska would start a stretch of five straight, one hundred plus yard games for Jaxon Smith-Njigba. He would also score at least one touchdown in four out of those last five games and would score six total in that span. Over the last five games of the 2021-22 college season alone, he would total nearly one thousand yards. He would go for nine catches for 139 yards against the Boilermakers of Purdue, ten catches for 105 yards against the Michigan State Spartans, eleven catches for 127 yards against Michigan and the grand finale, 15 catches for 347 yards, and three touchdowns against Utah in the Granddaddy Of Them All, the Rose Bowl.
What To Expect From Jaxon Smith-Njigba In 2022
The 22-2023 college football season is going to be a great one for Jaxon Smith-Njigba. The Ohio State Buckeyes return perhaps the best quarterback in college football with CJ Stroud and the best receiving core as well as Jaxon Smith-Njigba lay alongside Marvin Harrison Junior and Julian Fleming to form a nearly unstoppable three headed monster. Personally, if you asked me today who I think my national champion for the 2022-23 college football season is going to be, it’s the Buckeyes. With an offense that could potentially put up 50 a game I just can’t see them losing at all.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba and the Buckeyes open up with a tough test at home against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. But anyone who has seen Notre Dame play over the last few years knows that they have trouble covering elite receivers. As one of their few weaknesses is the cornerback physician and I expect the Buckeyes wide receivers to exploit that, especially Jaxon Smith-Njigba. I can easily see him going for at least 100 yards and a touchdown if not two as the Buckeyes will rely on their wide receivers to exploit the Irish and out score them on offense.
Next up for the Buckeyes is a couple of tuneup games against Arkansas State and Toledo. While I expect him to get his numbers I don’t expect major games from him because he will not be used as much as I look for Ohio State to blow the doors off both of these teams. Then the Big Ten season opener comes along as they host Wisconsin and Jaxon Smith-Njigba will be looking to get it started with a bang. Then he will be out to redeem himself after a rough performance against Rutgers last season.
Following the Rutgers game, it’s time for the Michigan State Spartans again and after last season with the way that he torched them, I can’t see it happening any other way again. As I look for him to put a couple of touchdowns on the board and once again go over 100 yards. Then Ohio State will play the Iowa Hawkeyes following a much needed bye week before he gets another shot to run all over the Nittany Lions of Penn State. After the Penn State game, they will play Indiana and Maryland and once again I look for him to put some touchdowns on the board and rack yards up as well.
Then it’s redemption time as Ohio State welcomes Michigan to Columbus for the first time in a while. The Buckeyes certainly won’t be happy after last year‘s loss as it was their first loss to Michigan in a decade. They will be hungry and ready to go and this is the perfect scenario for Jaxon Smith-Njigba. If last year‘s game showed us anything it’s that no matter how hard they tried Michigan couldn’t quite stop him. So once again no matter how hard they try this season I can’t see the Wolverines shutting him down. As I look for him to have a Utah, Rose Bowl type of performance in this rivalry game.
He is certainly going to rack up some awards in the off-season and potentially even make the jump to the National Football League as well. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is a player that I could easily see garnering some Heisman Trophy hype throughout the 2022-23 college football season. He is by far going to be the best wide receiver in the country and perhaps even the best player in the country. That is why I think Ohio State is going to be the best team in the country as well. As long as he and CJ Stroud can remain healthy I don’t think there’s a single defense that can stop this Ohio State team.
Regardless of his decision to come back to Ohio State for his junior year next year or jump to the league, it is almost certain that he will go down in history in scarlet and gray. He will soon join the long line of successful NFL products like Michael Thomas, Terry McLaurin, Santonio Holmes, and Garrett Wilson, and Chris Olave. Thanks to Brian Hartline Ohio State is quickly becoming the new wide receiver U. At the end of the day If Jaxon Smith-Njigba is not already a household name then you’re either living under a rock or not a fan of college football.
The other 129 teams in the nation are about to be put on notice and the scariest part of all of it is, even if you stop Jaxon Smith-Njigba, you still have to deal with Julian Fleming, and Marvin Harrison as well. The Ohio State Buckeyes wideout room has the potential to have a historic season and go down as the best in the history of the modern era. It will likely all culminate for them when they are lifting a National Championship at the end of the season.
My prediction for Jaxon Smith-Njigba is for him to go over 1200 yards, and catch 15 or more touchdowns en route to collecting an entire trophy case worth of awards and championship rings in 2022. By the end of the season, teams in the Big Ten and the NFL will be praying that he declares for the 2023 National Football League draft and doesn’t return to THE Ohio State University for his Junior season.
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