Ohio State’s celebration of TreVeyon Henderson’s 61-yard rushing touchdown against Notre Dame was cut short after most noticed that Marvin Harrison Jr., who helped block for Henderson, remained down on the field long after the play after getting his ankle rolled up on by a Fighting Irish defender.
The initial look at the injury was not a pretty sight, when the full weight of a defender coming down on Harrison’s ankle. And the longer he remained on the field, the more concern that Ohio State would be without the best receiver in the country for an extended period of time. But after a lengthy visit to the medical tent, not only did Harrison return to the game, but he did so by collecting a 6-yard pass on the first play of Ohio State’s drive.
“I think that is a side of Marvin that I don’t know if people have seen yet,” quarterback Kyle McCord said Wednesday. “Just his toughness. He could have easily just preserved himself in that moment. But that’s not who he is. It’s not the type of competitor that he is.
“And for him to come back and still have an impact, and obviously make plays right away and then have that huge catch on that last drive, I mean, I think that gives you everything you need to know about Marvin. The things that you can’t coach, and that was big for him to come back.”
While Harrison was clearly not himself for the rest of the game, Notre Dame still had to respect his presence on the field, especially on Ohio State’s last drive of the game when McCord was able to single out Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming for big receptions while also finding Harrison.
“I know that regardless of what happened, if 18 is on that field, he’s giving everything he has, and that’s exactly what he did,” McCord said. “I went back and watched the film after he got hurt. You really can’t tell the difference. That says a lot about him pushing through that injury.”
And Harrison has continued to push through that injury, hard at work with Ohio State’s Monarc Seeker, a robotic quarterback that delivers passes downfield for the wideout. Putting in extra work just days after suffering the injury, McCord said that is emblematic of the work ethic that Harrison and Ohio State have.
“Toughness can either be developed or you can be just raised in it, and I feel like Marvin has done a tremendous job of developing it,” McCord said. “That’s something that we’ve been emphasizing as an entire team (with) Coach Mick (Marotti), his strength staff, that we’ve been working on, and it definitely showed in that moment. It was huge for the team.