Harrison displayed professionalism from Day 1
Published 6:38 pm Thursday, December 28, 2023
By Jim Naveau
DALLAS – Ryan Day spoke what sounded like a tribute to Marvin Harrison Jr. on Thursday without saying whether the two-time All-American receiver has played his final game for Ohio State, or if he might play in tonight’s Cotton Bowl or even the unlikely possibility he could return for another year.
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Talking at a press conference he shared with Missouri coach Eli Drinkwater, Day said, “Marvin’s been a pro ever since he stepped into our building.
“Everyone wants to talk about his dad and what he’s done and being a Pro Football Hall of Famer. He and his mom did a great job of raising a son. But Marvin’s his own man. He had big shoes to fill, he’s got his father’s name,” Day said, referring to Indianapolis Colts legend Marvin Harrison Sr.
“From the moment he stepped into our building he was going to be a pro. The hours and hours and hours he spends on that JUGs machine (catching passes), the hours he spends in the film room, the way he takes care of his body — everything about him is professionalism”
Harrison was such a perfectionist that he would put in extra work not only after a rare drop but also if he made the catch but felt he didn’t do it as well as he could have, Day said.
“I’d come over to the (Woody Hayes) facility and maybe it wasn’t even a dropped pass, he’s in the facility hours after a game catching the ball, going over that same one because he didn’t get it right in a game,” Day said.
“That legacy he’s leaving behind for the younger players is tremendous. I think it’s been said publicly, when you ask him, ‘What do you want to do in football?’ he’ll say, ‘I want to be the best receiver ever to play the game.’ Your habits have to reflect that and that’s what’s special about Marvin.”
When Day was asked which of the Buckeyes players with possible NFL careers in their futures, including Harrison, will play in the Cotton Bowl, he said the answer wouldn’t come until Friday night’s game.
“I feel like those are the decisions players make with their families. I never want to be the one to go out and put it out there,” he said.
BROWN’S BIG MOMENT: Day said freshman quarterback Devin Brown has “taken it and run with with it” since becoming OSU’s No. 1 quarterback when Kyle McCord entered the transfer portal three weeks ago.
“Everybody in this game has an opportunity to build some momentum for next year. Devin is exactly in that situation. That’s exactly what he wanted. He wanted this opportunity. He’s taken it and run with it these last few weeks. I think the guys on the team feel it, they feel his presence out there,” Day said.
“Once the season is over we’ll kind of figure out where we’re at with everything. As of right now he’s our quarterback and we’re moving forward. This is a great opportunity for him to go grow more confidence with the guys around him for next season.”
OSU TEN FOR TEN: Ohio State has played in a New Year’s Six bowl game every year since that format came to college football in the first season of the College Football Playoff in 2014.
No other team has done that. Alabama is second with nine New Year’s Six bowl appearances.
Missouri’s trip to the Cotton Bowl is its first appearance in a New Year’s Six game.
MISSOURI STAR WAS WALK-ON: Missouri running back Cody Schrader, who rushed for 1,499 yards this season, did not receive any NCAA Division I offers when he graduated from Lutheran South High School in St. Louis.
He played two years at NCAA Division II Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., and after rushing for 2,074 yards as a sophomore, transferred to Missouri as a walk-on.
Schrader is this year’s winner of the Burlsworth Trophy, which honors the top walk-on in college football.