Another game means another round of mind-blowing catches from Marvin Harrison Jr. “Is he even human?” “How can he do that?” “He’s unreal.” All of these statements and many more that probably aren’t allowed to be written on this site cross my mind every time I watch him play. This past week was no different. In fact, it got me thinking— will he finish as the greatest Ohio State receiver ever?
After the catch that had everyone, including Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt, just absolutely flabbergasted, I was convinced that Marv is the best receiver I’ve ever seen. You know the catch I’m talking about— where he had one foot in and somehow didn’t injure himself as he contorted his lower half. I don’t think I have seen this level of body control at the collegiate level in my life, especially not in a receiver who is only in his first full year.
I know it might be a bold statement to say about someone who is only a sophomore, whose own father is an NFL Hall of Famer, and who plays for a school that is an NFL receiver factory. However, I wholeheartedly believe in it. His stats speak for themselves— 969 yards and 11 touchdowns on 60 receptions. While it might not be the best in the nation (Ohio State has great receivers, not just one great one), it is mighty impressive he put those numbers up while being surrounded by other great players.
Speaking of sharing the field with supremely talented teammates, two of last year’s receivers in Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson could also be considered as some of the program’s best players in that position group. Olave is listed high on the record books since he played for four years, and was very successful in each season. He was Mr. Reliable and holds the school record for career receiving touchdowns with 35.
Wilson was a game-maker. He was fast, elusive, and extremely athletic. He is also etched in the record books for many different stats, including being only the second Buckeye to log four straight games with at least 100 yards receiving. Wilson was impactful right from the start, shining as a true freshman.
What separates Marv from these two? I feel like he is the perfect blend of both. He is also bigger— a good four inches and 15 or so pounds heavier. He has the same balance and body control as Olave. In fact, it’s probably the best body awareness I’ve ever seen; he makes NFL catches all of the time. He’s also quick and has great hands just like Wilson. His route running and ball skills are also simply next-level. He simply has every single quality you look for in an NFL receiver.
Now, I’m not going to lie, I can’t really speak on any receivers that played before the 21st century, since I wasn’t alive. I know David Boston is statistically one of the greatest ever, and it sounds like Cris Carter was a straight menace on the gridiron. This century, I’ve had the pleasure of watching Ted Ginn Jr. in the NFL and can see how talented he was. Terry Glenn was the Buckeyes’ sole Biletnikoff winner, too, so obviously he is one of the GOATs.
So, can I fully prove that Marv is the best OSU receiver ever? No. However, I have eyes. He rarely, if ever, drops the ball. If it is in the vicinity of him, he will somehow catch it, stay in bounds and run for positive yards. He and Stroud have a QB-WR connection that is extremely unique. The best part? He still has another season. And this one isn’t over! Marv is athletic, acrobatic, and a thousand other adjectives. He doesn’t miss. Therefore, I believe he will be the best WR in program history.
Do you think Marvin Harrison Jr. will finish as the best receiver in school history?
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