Standing at 6-4 and weighing in at 205 pounds, sophomore receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. has garnered plenty of attention about his athleticism ahead of the 2022 college football season.
Harrison was listed on The Athletic’s annual college football freaks list, which highlights the unique athletes in the sport. The author of the list, Bruce Feldman, called Harrison “the freakiest athlete” of any prospect recruited by wide receivers coach Brian Hartline — pointing to his strength and speed as his defining traits.
Although the son of NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Marvin Harrison Sr., Harrison said his athleticism is the result of the work he’s put in rather than his genetics.
“With someone like me, they say that a lot of things are genetics, but I had to put a lot of work into running as fast as I can, changing directions and being as strong as I am,” Harrison said. “I’m honored by [appearing on the list] but this game is about skill and technique. Athleticism is only going to get you so far.”
In his first season with the program, Harrison spent time learning behind program greats Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, as well as emerging star Jaxon Smith-Njigba. While Smith-Njigba has grown into one of the most feared receivers in the nation, Harrison is also collecting some buzz of his own. He is likely to elevate to one of the starting spots on the perimeter this season, primarily thanks to a breakout Rose Bowl performance — in which he hauled in six receptions for 71 yards and three touchdown.
As Harrison has placed his attention on growing both as an athlete and as a receiver this offseason, he is expecting big things from his sophomore campaign.
“I have a lot of confidence in myself,” Harrison said. “I definitely think I can contribute to the team in a big way this year.”
Dubbed as “Route Man Marv” — in homage to his route-running ability — by his quarterback C.J. Stroud, Harrison has come a long way since arriving to the program last season. Hartline emphasized that while Harrison’s skillset jumped out to him in recruitment, the Philadelphia native recognized areas of improvement upon joining Ohio State and attacked them hard during his first two years as a Buckeye.
“His skillset was awesome, but he would even tell you that there was a lot of skill set that needed development coming out of high school,” Hartline said. “It was more his work ethic. Everything I’m talking about — regardless of his height, weight, size and all of that — it was more about his mental makeup, how he talked it, how he worked. All of that, that’s what made me fall in love with Marv.
“Marv has taken it to a whole another level.”