From now until preseason camp starts in August, Land-Grant Holy Land will be writing articles around a different theme every week. This week is all about making predictions that may or may not be reasonable, in fact, some might say they are bold. You can catch up on all of the Theme Week content here and all of our ”Bold Predictions” articles here.
Right now, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Is Marvin Harrison Jr. winning the Heisman that much of a bold prediction?” You know, I don’t think it is. However, when you dig a little deeper, it just might be.
Over the past 31 seasons, only one wide receiver has won the award for college football’s best player: Alabama’s DeVonta Smith. He was up against Trevor Lawrence, Mac Jones and Kyle Trask, so the fact that he beat them out, especially Lawrence, truly meant he was the best player in that season.
Only three non-quarterbacks have won the Heisman since 2000, as it has increasingly become known as the award for the best QB. So, even if Marv does play out of his mind this year, it might be a little more tricky to win than one may think.
Currently, according to Vegas, he has the highest odds of any receiver at +4500. He has 17 players ahead of him with better odds, all of them quarterbacks besides Michigan running back Donovan Edwards (I’m not sure why Blake Corum isn’t listed) and Penn State running back Nick Singleton. Kyle McCord is even favored ahead of Marv, and he hasn’t even started a full season yet! Everyone loves a quarterback.
Obviously entering the season, Marv’s biggest competition would be last year’s Heisman winner, USC’s Caleb Williams. I would say Williams does have a pretty good shot at repeating — a lot of the other guys on the list of possible Heisman contenders are either first-time starters or have transferred to a new team in the offseason, such as Quinn Ewers/Arch Manning, Sam Hartman and McCord. Meanwhile, Williams played out of his mind last season, and could do even better this year with the same team.
The guy with the second-best odds is UNC QB Drake Maye. He had some pretty insane stats last year (4,321 yards, 38 TD and seven INT), but I feel like not too many people paid him much attention because he plays at UNC. The Tar Heels finished the season 9-5, but when the top teams in the nation are undefeated or only have one loss against the other best teams, more attention and approval will go towards them. So, I would say Maye’s only shot at winning would be ensuring his team wins pretty much every single game.
As for Marv’s odds, Urban Meyer said on a recent podcast that he believes the OSU WR should be the Heisman winner, and believes he was the best player in college football last season as well. I think that his skills are truly going to be demonstrated this year. With a first-year starting quarterback at the helm, most likely McCord, he is going to be relying on Marv A LOT to have offensive success.
Plus, the fact that McCord and Marv played together in high school means they are already very comfortable with each other, which should make it a seamless transition from C.J. Stroud last year.
No defense has been able to figure out how to defend Marv yet, and I don’t really see it happening this year either. If he can stay healthy and be just as dominant as he was last year, there really shouldn’t be any debate for who should take home the Heisman.