Everyone who is a part of Buckeye nation knows that Marvin Harrison Jr. is the best wide receiver in the country. However, he is now trending into the debate of whether he is the best PLAYER in college football. In my opinion, after what Marv has done this year, he should at the very least be a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Since 2000, only three non-quarterbacks have won the award. I’m aware that it has turned into an honor for QBs, and there are definitely some worthy quarterbacks this year who are favored to win— Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and Oregon’s Bo Nix, to name a few.
However, I believe that Marv should be in the same conversation as them. He is truly the difference maker on Ohio State’s offense, and without his two touchdowns and yet another 100-yard receiving game against Wisconsin, it may have turned out to be a different ball game.
Marv has at least 105 receiving yards and one touchdown in six of the Buckeyes’ last seven games. That kind of consistency is insane. Mind you, he did this against Penn State, who’s defense at the time was the best in the nation and still contains some of the top cornerbacks in the country. It doesn’t matter who No. 18 goes up against; he’s simply going to beat them every time.
Now, how likely is it that Marv beats out a quarterback for this trophy? It’ll be hard to say. Penix Jr. is the favorite right now, and for good reason. He has 2,945 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and a 82.7 QBR on the season. McCarthy is next on the list, but his stats are not as gaudy as Penix Jr.’s — 1,799 passing yards, 18 touchdowns and a 93.8 QBR, which does lead the nation.
The Washington QB did out-duel Nix in a phenomenal offensive showdown, and Oregon is a very difficult opponent. Michigan hasn’t faced any top-10 opponents this year yet, and it had a bye week last week. So, in my opinion, McCarthy should be the third or fourth best QB listed.
LSU’s Jayden Daniels is also widely talked about as the possible winner, as his stats are pretty similar to Penix Jr.’s. In my opinion, Daniels, Penix Jr. and Nix should be in the conversation, but McCarthy really cannot be discredited.
Ryan Day said after the game this past Saturday that Marv is, “the best player in the country.” Right now, he has +1300 odds to win, good for sixth-best of any player, and the best for any non-quarterback. Through eight games, he has 48 receptions for 889 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
It’s always difficult to beat out a quarterback in the Heisman Trophy race. However, if anyone can do it, and if anyone deserves it, it’s Marv. There is no running back, receiver or other position player on any other team that is more critical to the team’s success than him. Watching him with my own eyes every game this season has proven that to me. I just hope the Heisman voters can see that.