Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. was a unanimous All-American last season, hauling in 72 receptions for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns, and finished as a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, which is given to the top receiver in college football.
The honor went to Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt, but the committee might have reconsidered had they know that Harrison played almost all of last season with a sprained ankle suffered in just the second game of the season against Arkansas State, and injury the limited him for the rest of the year.
“I was only able to cut off one foot throughout the whole year, so just didn’t really have much strength or mobility in the ankle,” Harrison said Wednesday. “It was really hard, but I just managed it.”
Harrison did not seem impacted given how impressive his season was, but he said that it was something he was aware of every game, adjusting his approach to help account for the injury.
“I felt it each game,” he said. “I knew I couldn’t really plant off that one leg how I really wanted to. I think if you really watch the film, I switched my feet a little bit on the route or just being mindful of it. Changed my depth a little bit still being within the offense but worked some ways around it.”
Harrison is already off to a hot start this season with 14 receptions for 304 yards and three touchdowns, and while he does not consider himself fully healthy due to a shoulder injury he suffered against Indiana, he is not feeling any lingering effects from the ankle injury, and that’s show in his play this season.
“I definitely have confidence in both legs now to be able to decelerate and accelerate on both legs,” Harrison said, “so I’m excited about that.”