What you need to know about Ohio State wide receiver Jayden Ballard

Colin Gay
The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State's passing game may have taken a hit.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba is sidelined with an left leg injury and has not seen the field since recording one reception on two targets in the first quarter.

Redshirt freshman receiver Jayden Ballard was the first one to replace Smith-Njigba along with Emeka Egbuka and Marvin Harrison Jr.

Live updates:Live blog: In the second quarter it's Notre Dame 10, Ohio State 7

Here's what we know about Ballard.

Jayden Ballard is a Massillon Washington graduate

Ballard was the No. 8 receiver in the country out of Massillon Washington High School, catching 25 touchdown passes over his final two high school seasons.

Aug 4, 2022; Columbus, OH, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jayden Ballard (9) catches a pass during the first fall football practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

In his high school career, he recorded 141 catches for 2,636 yards and 37 touchdowns, becoming Massillon Washington's all-time leader in receiving yards and touchdown receptions.

he also led the Tigers to three-straight Division 2 state title games.

Jayden Ballard is in his second season with Ohio State

As a freshman, Ballard played in three games and had one reception for four yards from backup quarterback Kyle McCord against Akron.

“Jayden Ballard is my guy,” Chris Olave said. “I can't wait to see him take off. His speed is off the charts. He’s 6-3, probably 200 pounds now, so he's got that body frame, and he's a deep threat. Once he develops his route running, he's going to be one of the best in the country.”

Ballard came into Ohio State along with five-star wide receiver Emeka Egbuka and four-star wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

“He's somebody that could provide a huge, huge boost to our offense because he does have the ability. Now it's time to go put it on the field. He's put a lot of work in these last seven weeks.”

Ohio State football's 2022 schedule

  • Week 1: Ohio State vs. Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3, in Columbus, Ohio
  • Week 2: Ohio State vs. Arkansas State, Sept. 10, in Columbus, Ohio
  • Week 3: Ohio State vs. Toledo, Sept. 17, in Columbus, Ohio 
  • Week 4: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin, Sept. 24, Columbus, Ohio
  • Week 5: Ohio State vs. Rutgers, Oct. 1, Columbus Ohio
  • Week 6: Ohio State vs. Michigan State, Oct. 8, East Lansing, Mich. 
  • Week 7: Ohio State vs. Iowa, Oct. 22, Columbus, Ohio
  • Week 8: Ohio State vs. Penn State, Oct. 29, State College, Pa. 
  • Week 9: Ohio State vs. Northwestern, Nov. 5, Evanston, Ill. 
  • Week 10: Ohio State vs Indiana, Nov. 12, Columbus, Ohio
  • Week 11: Ohio State vs. Maryland, Nov. 19, College Park, MD. 
  • Week 12: Ohio State vs. Michigan, at noon Nov. 26, Columbus, Ohio

Get more Ohio State football news by listening to our podcasts