There’s this saying in football that “If all else fails, throw it to Marvin Harrison.”
It’s not an old saying. Not even two years old, in fact, but it’s a truism that sure feels like age-old wisdom.
It sounds like something your great-grandfather would have passed down from generation to generation.
“We didn’t fight the Kaiser just to end up not throwing the ball to Marvin Harrison, Jr.!”
Your grandmother would have had a hand-painted piece of wall art that read, “In this house, we throw to Marv.”
Growing up as a kid, your mother would have had a trio of wall hangings above the mantle that read, “Live, Laugh, Marv.”
And even you, branching out with your own ways of displaying your thoughts, would have had a tattered and half-peeled bumper sticker on your truck that read, “Don’t tread on Marv.”
But the truth is, Marvin Harrison, Jr. has only been dazzling Buckeye fans for about 22 months now. It just feels like we’ve been watching it forever.
He announced his arrival to the college football world on January 1, 2022 by catching three touchdowns in the Buckeyes’ wild 48-45 win over Utah in the Rose Bowl.
In these past 22 months, Harrison has played 22 games, caught 131 passes for 2,223 yards, and scored 25 touchdowns.
Saturday night in OSU’s 24-10 win over Wisconsin, Harrison did what he almost always does. He caught six passes for 123 yards, scoring two of the Buckeyes’ three touchdowns on the night.
His first touchdown didn’t look possible — which is also feeling like something we’ve been hearing for years.
Buckeye quarterback Kyle McCord launched a pass down the sideline into the end zone and Harrison went up for it, snagged it, and landed a yard out of bounds. But somehow got a right toe down in the end zone.
Watching the play from the press box, it was completely dismissed as a possibility. Then the referee raised his arms and signaled a touchdown. That still didn’t convince the onlookers in the press box, who then immediately turned their heads to the televisions and replay screen on the scoreboard.
And then we watched.
And we saw Marvin Harrison do it again. This was not the first time an entire press box has responded to a Harrison touchdown with, “No [bleeping] way.”
It’s not that I doubted Harrison. I doubted the physics and biology of being able to do what he does. It’s not easy to dismiss the years of science that the schools have pounded into my head. But at some point you need to wake up and see that the laws of physics don’t always apply to everybody.
If schools have given us “new math,” isn’t it time for some “new science?”
Who knows, we continue to learn amazing things via the James Webb Space Telescope, though we didn’t need a telescope to see the birth of this star back in the Rose Bowl in January of ’22.
The amazing has become routine for Marvin Harrison. He is judged against himself and continues to impress. It’s a standard that only he can live up to, and then exceed.
He is the ultimate insurance policy for the Ohio State offense.
The field goal netting should have Harrison’s hands imprinted on them.
♪ “You’re in good hands with Marv State.” ♪
This Ohio State offense still hasn’t looked like we’ve come to expect. The Buckeyes have averaged at least 41 points per game every season since head coach Ryan Day arrived as offensive coordinator in 2017, but this year that scoring average is down to 32.5 points per game.
New starting quarterback Kyle McCord has had his ups and downs, and that was the case once again in Madison on Saturday. Three first-half turnovers made the game against the Badgers closer than it needed to be, but there is no Get Out Of Jail Free card in college football like Marvin Harrison, Jr.
Hell, he’s also Free Parking, Boardwalk and Park Place.
Except he is the one playing games with opposing defenses.
Ryan Day has begun touting Harrison as the best player in the nation, challenging Heisman voters to think outside the pocket.
With four-consecutive 100-yard receiving games, Harrison is hitting a stride that defenders can’t keep up with.
All the more reason to look for him, because if all else fails, Marvin won’t.
And you can go ahead and hang that one on your wall as well.