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NY Post
New York Post
17 Feb 2024

NextImg:Marvin Harrison Jr. draws rave reviews from Giants, Jets receivers

Garrett Wilson already was accustomed to making jaw-dropping plays at Ohio State, but he was the one left in awe during Marvin Harrison Jr.’s first week on campus. 

Before they ever shared the field together, Harrison, who graduated from high school early to enroll in January 2021, caught Wilson’s eye on the bench press. 

“He did 18 reps at 225 [pounds] on like his second day of being in the facility,” Wilson told The Post. “I had done my test two years earlier, and they actually had to change the bar to 185 for me. It was a big discrepancy, like, ‘Oh wow, this dude is not joking around.’ It tells you a lot about his work ethic. That’s not something you just have. You build that.” 

Three years later, Wilson is making the Jets look smart for drafting him No. 10 overall in 2022.

He is the only NFL receiver with 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons for a losing team. 

But Harrison is ranked as high as No. 1 overall on the 2024 draft boards of some analysts — including ESPN’s Jordan Reid, who says Harrison has “gold-jacket-type potential.”

Marvin Harrison Jr. is ranked as high as No. 1 overall on some analysts’ boards. USA TODAY Sports

It’s a reference to Harrison one day joining his father — the former Colt who is No. 5 in career receptions in league history — in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

“The best way I can describe Marvin is he’s a grinder,” Wilson said. “He’s always going to be the best player on the field, but in a rare case that he wasn’t, he would be grinding the whole day after to make sure that was never the case again. That’s my favorite thing about him.” 

Fellow ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. rates Harrison as the best receiver prospect since Calvin Johnson, the No. 2 overall pick in 2007. 

Wilson and Giants receiver Parris Campbell — another former Ohio State star (2015-18) who keeps close tabs on his alma mater — are not about to dispel any of the hype. 

“Still having connections there, I’ve heard he’s probably the best receiver to ever walk through there,” Campbell told The Post. “After watching the games closely, I’d have to say I agree.” 

Garrett Wilson was teammates with Marvin Harrison Jr. at Ohio State. Bill Kostroun/New York Post
Parris Campbell starred at Ohio State from 2015-18. Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

The Giants and Jets both begin the offseason with a significant need for receivers.

In the Giants’ case, it’s a continuation of the years-long search for a No. 1 pass-catcher that previously turned up Golden Tate, Kenny Golladay and Darren Waller.

In the Jets’ case, it’s the search for someone to draw attention away from Wilson, after free-agent signing Allen Lazard disappointed last season. 

But Harrison could be gone by the time the Giants (No. 6) or Jets (No. 10) pick, unless there is a trade.

The consensus opinion among draft analysts is that Harrison will be picked no later than No. 4 — bumped down only because of the value placed on quarterbacks and the evaluations of USC’s Caleb Williams, North Carolina’s Drake Maye and LSU’s Jayden Daniels. 

After first meeting the Harrisons when father and son were on an Ohio State recruiting visit, Campbell spent the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Colts, where the elder Marvin Harrison spent his whole 13-year career and still returns to visit.

He and teammate-turned-Colts-receivers-coach Reggie Wayne were Peyton Manning’s top weapons in a record-setting offense. 

“If you asked somebody when Marvin Harrison Sr. was playing, ‘What will his son be like?’ — he’s what you would expect,” Campbell said. “We’ve had endless conversions of receiver talk.” 

The 2021 Buckeyes had Wilson, Chris Olave (No. 11 pick in 2022), Jaxon Smith-Njigba (No. 20 pick in 2023), Harrison and Emeka Egbuka (a potential 2025 first-rounder) catching passes from likely 2023 Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud (No. 2 pick in 2023). 

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Marvin Harrison Jr. catches a touchdown during the Ohio State-Michigan game on Nov. 25, 2023. Getty Images

“There was never any competition,” Wilson said. “We were just trying to drop all the knowledge possible on Marvin. Knowing I was going to be declaring when I was a junior, Chris was a senior and [Harrison] was a freshman, it was, ‘How can we make sure that when it’s his time to play, he’s going to be ready?’ ” 

Mission accomplished. 

Harrison is the only two-time All-American receiver in program history, the 2023 Biletnikoff Winner as the best receiver in college football and a 2023 Heisman Trophy finalist.

He ranks sixth at Ohio State in receptions (155) and yards (2,613), and third in touchdowns (31) despite starting for just two seasons — and accumulating two of the program’s 10 all-time 1,000-yard seasons. 

“He does it all — short routes, deep routes, across the middle,” Campbell said. “It’s crazy that he is 6-foot-3, but his short-area quickness is excellent. Probably going to run a 4.3, low 4.4 [time in the 40-yard dash] at the combine. The way he catches the ball, his body control, he has the whole package.”