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Ohio State Player's Mom Reacts To NFL Draft Rumor

Ohio State football helmet and pads.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 19: A detail view of an Ohio State Buckeyes helmet and shoulder pads are seen resting on the field in action during the Big Ten Championship game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Northwestern Wildcats on December 19, 2020 at Lucas Oil stadium, in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Ohio State's Jaxon Smith-Njigba is reportedly receiving some pushback after Monday's announcement that he would be entering the NFL draft and skipping out on the College Football Playoff in order to heal a hamstring injury that's lingered all season long.

According to ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay, word around pro scouting circles is that Smith-Njigba is healthy enough to play and is just protecting himself and his draft position.

Saying Tuesday, “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. ... I got news for every prospect out there: NFL teams know."

Today, Smith-Njigba's mother came to her son's defense on Twitter. Explaining that forcing him to play would be "selfish" and "abusive."

Being [with] my son yesterday for his first day of rehab and seeing his limitations for myself gave me peace [with] our families choice to get my son healthy. Encouraging him play would be selfish and abusive. I’m at peace [because] I know he’s in the right hands [for] recovery.

The star wideout injured his hamstring in the season-opener against Notre Dame and could never get it quite right; appearing in portions of just two more games in the regular season.

In 2021, Smith-Njigba broke the Big Ten record for receiving yards, punctuated by a 347-yard, three touchdown performance in the Rose Bowl.