Jaxon Smith-Njigba's brother, Canaan, is a Pittsburgh Pirate, meaning the former OSU wideout isn't the only athlete in the family.
Left: Photo by Harry How/Getty Images, Right: Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Year of the Smith-Njigba Brothers: How Jaxon and Canaan Could Take Over NFL, MLB

Jaxon Smith-Njigba is a standout wide receiver for The Ohio State University. At the end of his sophomore football season, he set an Ohio State and FBS Bowl record. He raked in 347 receiving yards in the 2022 Rose Bowl, proving that he has the ability to be an absolute beast. And while he was limited to only three games in his junior season due to injury, he has since declared himself eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft. He could be a great addition to a number of teams that are on the cusp of being legitimate contenders. But the Smith-Njigba family isn't done yet, as Jaxon Smith-Njigba's brother, Canaan, recently made the Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day roster ahead of the 2023 MLB season.

The Smith-Njigba Family's Athletic Blood Runs Deep

While Jaxon's name may be the big one in the news due to his record-setting Rose Bowl performance and his NFL prospects, his older brother, Canaan, is also looking to be a full-time professional athlete. The Major League Baseball hopeful has spent five years in the minor leagues, initially with the New York Yankees system. But during the past two seasons, he has bounced Between AA and AAA for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

After a solid 2022 at AAA Indianapolis, Canaan has absolutely shown up in spring training. Through 19 games, the elder Smith-Njigba brother came to play. His slash line was .326/.404./.522, with two home runs, 11 RBIs, three doubles and two stolen bases. And that has been enough to see the versatile outfielder make the Pirates' opening day roster.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba of the Ohio State Buckeyes catches a touchdown pass against the Utah Utes during the fourth quarter in the 2021 Rose Bowl Game.

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

2023 could be the year for the Smith-Njigba brothers. Jaxon is a projected first-round draft pick, while Canaan will be vying to be a permanent fixture for the Pirates. Canaan joins an exciting young Pittsburgh team that hopes to make some waves in the NL Central. Spring training wasn't quite indicative of that potential, but Canaan will certainly hope he can use his spring training as a jumping-off point for his season and MLB career.

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