OSU’s Harrison Jr. wants to thrive on father’s big stage

Published 11:01 pm Friday, July 28, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Marvin Harrison Jr. dressed appropriately for Big Ten media days as he stepped out under the bright lights inside Lucas Oil Stadium, where his father shined as a wide receiver with the Indianapolis Colts on his way to the Hall of Fame.

The Ohio State star’s tie and sneakers were blue — Colts’ royal blue, in fact.

“Yeah, a tribute, obviously my dad played for the Colts,” Harrison said Wednesday. “You could say it was a tribute to him and also style as well.”

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Harrison, 20, was too young to remember seeing his father play in the stadium before his retirement after the 2008 season. But he recalled being in the building when the elder Harrison was inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor in 2011.

“I was just a kid at the time, being amazed at how big the stadium is, the bright lights and things like that,” he said. “I never dreamed of me maybe having an opportunity to get to play in a Big Ten championship game, being in this stadium for Big Ten media days.”

Harrison emerged during his sophomore season as a unanimous All-American with 77 receptions for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns last year. The Buckeyes, however, failed for a second consecutive year to earn a trip to the staidum for the Big Ten title game. The next one is Dec. 2 and it is on Harrison’s mind.

“When I came to Ohio State, you know the Big Ten Championship is in Indy,” he said. “That’s kind of the one goal I’ve had my whole college career and I haven’t got there yet.”

Harrison enters his junior season as one of college football’s best talents, a possible Heisman Trophy candidate as well as a potential top NFL draft pick. Although he will likely follow his father’s path to the NFL, the Harrisons are dissimilar in size; the father was generously listed at 6 feet tall, the son is 6-4. If they have anything in common, it’s that they tend to be quiet and prefer to lead by example.

To this day, the son says he’s learning about the game from his father. He laughed when asked if he ever teaches his father anything.

“It’s hard to teach a Hall of Famer anything that he doesn’t already know,” he said.