Marvin Harrison

Ranking Ohio State’s Top 10 Playmakers On Offense For 2023 – No. 1 Marvin Harrison, Jr.

We continue our rankings of the top 10 offensive playmakers on this year’s Ohio State football team with the final selection. The No. 1 player on this list could very well be the No. 2 overall draft pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

No. 1 – Marvin Harrison, Jr., Junior, WR

If you believe the composite recruiting rankings, there were 13 better receivers than Marvin Harrison, Jr. in the class of 2021. Amazingly, Alabama signed four of them. Those four have produced 1,258 career yards receiving and 13 career touchdown catches. Those numbers fall five yards and one touchdown short of Harrison’s 2022 season.

Harrison was a unanimous All-American in 2022, posting one of the best individual seasons in Ohio State’s deep history of pass catchers. He enters the 2023 season as one of the very best players in the country.

Statistical History

2022: 77 recs, 1,263 yds, 14 TDs; 2 rushes, 32 yds
2021: 11 recs, 139 yds, 3 TDs

Biggest Play

One could argue that the biggest play in Marvin Harrison’s career wasn’t allowed to happen because he was knocked out of last year’s game against Georgia by what Big Ten director of officials Bill Carollo said should have been a penalty. That fact notwithstanding, Harrison still had several big plays in that game, including a second-quarter touchdown on a scramble drill. Quarterback CJ Stroud stepped out of pressure, then ran to the right to buy time before flicking the football over a defender and right to a sliding Harrison. The touchdown gave the Buckeyes a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Longest Play

Leading Indiana 14-0 late in the first quarter last year, CJ Stroud took the snap, faked the give to the pistol back and went deep down the middle to Marvin Harrison on a post route for a 58-yard touchdown. It was a simple route for Harrison, but the play-action triggered the two guys who couldn’t afford to have ignored him so completely. Ohio State went against their run tendency out of the pistol formation and completely fooled the Hoosiers.

What He Does Well

Marvin Harrison instills fear in the hearts of men. The first thing defenders are concerned with is his size. At 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, Harrison can use his body to shield defenders away from the football, or simply disregard them because they can’t match his stature and physicality. His catch radius has its own post office, and there’s talk about putting in a Starbucks as well. And even if a defender gives as good as he gets, they still have to keep Harrison from making the catch. They can try to put him under duress, but that only adds a little bit of difficulty to what has been routine throughout Harrison’s career. He is one of the rare big receivers who will juke a defender and pick up extra yards after the catch. There really isn’t anything he can’t do as a receiver, which he showed on a weekly basis last year.

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Expectations For This Season

Marvin Harrison led the Big Ten in receptions of 10 (52), 20 (20), 30 (10), and 40 yards (6) last season. Like his classmate Emeka Egbuka, he has a chance to be the first Buckeye in school history to have two 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Even though the Buckeyes are breaking in a new quarterback, that didn’t stop Parris Campbell from going for 1,053 yards in 2018 with Dwayne Haskins, or Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Garrett Wilson from topping that number in 2021 with CJ Stroud.

Harrison will no doubt be the focal point of every pass defense he sees this season, so it will require the Buckeyes to figure out ways to help make life easier for him. As head coach Ryan Day said at Big Ten Media Days this week, it would be unacceptable to look at a box score after a game and only see a couple of targets to Harrison because of something the defense was doing to take him out of the game.

Yes, the offense is going to take what the defense gives them, but they are also going to move Harrison around so that they can find weak spots. And if a defense simply wants to man him up, then consider that weak spot found.


10. RB Evan Pryor
9. WR Jayden Ballard
8. RB Dallan Hayden
7. WR Xavier Johnson
6. TE Cade Stover
5. WR Julian Fleming
4. RB Miyan Williams
3. RB TreVeyon Henderson
2. WR Emeka Egbuka

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