It was a surprise to many when Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. was not named winner of the Biletnikoff Award in December, with the honor for the nation’s best wideout going to Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt.
It was a close call, with Hyatt hauling in 67 receptions for 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns compared to 77 catches for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns for Harrison, but the Buckeye wideout still felt slighted by losing the hardware.
“Yeah, that definitely does bother me because I think that’s one of the things you look back on in your college career, you can point to that, ‘I won the best receiver in country award for that year,'” Harrison said Thursday. “I think I definitely deserved it. Jalin had a great year as well at Tennessee, but I think I deserved it.”
Beyond Harrison, nobody was more surprised that Harrison lost the award than Ohio State offensive coordinator wide receivers coach Brian Hartline, who made it clear on Thursday how he felt about the voting.
“Anybody that has two eyes could have saw that he should have gotten that,” the recently promoted Hartline said.
But despite the disappointment, Harrison has another shot at the Biletnikoff Award this season, expected to be his final for the Buckeyes before almost certainly becoming another first-round draft pick at wideout for Ohio State. With Jaxon Smith-Njigba off to the NFL, Harrison enters this season as the unquestioned top option for Ohio State and whichever quarterback – Kyle McCord or Devin Brown – is under center to begin the year.
Harrison will attempt to boost the Buckeyes back to a Big Ten title and second consecutive appearance in the College Football Playoff – and maybe even win some individual hardware in the mean time – but Hartline said Harrison’s goals remain big picture.
“I think his goal is, like a lot of our guys, it’s not sheltered at college football,” Hartline said. “I think he has perspective and wants to chase his Dad. The small mindedness, I don’t think Marvin has ever possessed that. He’s always been pushed to think big, and I think he’s probably doing that.”