What Marvin Harrison Jr.'s Commitment Means for Ohio State’s 2021 Recruiting Class

By Zack Carpenter on October 31, 2019 at 12:36 pm
Marvin Harrison Jr.
Marvin Harrison Jr.

Ohio State earned the commitment of four-star receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. from St. John's Prep School in Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon. 


It's a case of the rich getting richer, as Harrison becomes the sixth receiver commitment between Brian Hartline's 2020 and 2021 classes, all six of whom are ranked in the top 100 overall in their respective class. 

Harrison, who visited Columbus in February and April, has not been back to Ohio State since the spring, which says plenty about how comfortable he is with this coaching staff, the environment and the fit. 

Let's take a look at what Harrison's commitment and eventual arrival means for the 2021 class:

On the field

Harrison is the son of the Colts NFL Hall of Fame receiver of the same name, and his skillset seems befitting of his name. 

Just like his father, Harrison has the makings of being a reliable red-zone target, as he blends terrific length and body control with good hands, polished route running and smoothness to his game. He can be utilized with back-shoulder fades – in a similar vein that the Buckeyes have tried getting the ball to Garrett Wilson in one-on-one plays in the end zone this season.

We're not comparing him to Wilson, though, as Wilson – a former five-star recruit – is the better prospect. Their 40 times are identical (Wilson ran a 4.63; Harrison a 4.64 just three months apart from each other in 2018), but they're different in just about every other way.

Harrison is not a speedy target, and his vertical is only 31.3 inches so while he does have in-traffic catching ability, he won't necessarily be a jump-ball target, and he's not going to be a breakaway run-after-the-catch guy.

What he lacks in jumping and speed, he makes up for in focus. Harrison doesn't ever seem deterred by defenders draped all over him, as he can make difficult catches look routine. Again, that's why he could eventually be a great guy to have in the red zone and the end zone when the field shrinks and there are more defenders in the area.

In the class

It will be hard for Harrison to see the field right away as he enters a stacked receivers room that figures to get even more loaded by the time he steps foot on campus. 

The Buckeyes will already have a handful of playmakers from this season's roster still there, and they are bringing in four receivers in the 2020 class (as mentioned above, each of whom are ranked in the top 100).

And Ohio State is hoping to land at least two more receivers in this class, with Emeka Egbuka its top target, and the Buckeyes are well-positioned with him right now. Troy Stellato also could be in a position to pledge to Ohio State soon. Those are the two players the Buckeyes seem likeliest to land. 

The recruitment of Beaux Collins seems like it will come down to Ohio State vs. Clemson, but I'm of the opinion Collins joins Clemson.

I don't have that on good authority, but the Buckeyes have a loaded receivers room, the Tigers will already have Collins' high school quarterback DJ Uiagalelei on campus for a full year and ready to step in, and Clemson's receivers room looks like it won't be quite as crowded as Ohio State's.

In a similar situation as Collins and Uiagalelei if those two were both to go to Clemson, Harrison will be coming to campus already holding great chemistry with the guy who could be his college quarterback.

Harrison's teammate Kyle McCord is the Buckeyes' 2021 quarterback commit, and it's looking like he could be battling Jack Miller and others for the starting spot when he arrives. McCord has the chance to be special, so the two of them already being on the same page could help Harrison in the future.

Ohio State is still sitting at No. 4 in the overall class rankings, but Harrison's commitment pushes them a little closer to Notre Dame as the 2021 players start to make their college decisions more frequently. The Buckeyes also sit atop the Big Ten class rankings, and that doesn't seem like it will change by the time National Signing Day arrives in 2021.

Off the field

It looks like McCord, Jack Sawyer, Reid Carrico, Ben Christman and Jayden Ballard did their job well. 

We've talked in the past about how the Buckeyes' 2021 commits are doing their part on the recruiting trail in addition to the coaches, led by Sawyer and Carrico as the front men.  Harrison was one of the main targets, and their efforts were clearly well-warranted.

The 2020 class is special not just in its talent but also its chemistry and closeness. They seem to genuinely enjoy each other, and they haven't even gotten to campus as student-athletes yet. 

This 2021 class already looks like it's shaping up to be like that, which is not small to note.

Ryan Day and this coaching staff are bringing in players with high character and a chance to be special. These guys know they have high-level potential individually and collectively, and that's only going to tighten their bond going forward.

Harrison is the latest, and don't be surprised if they continue to help the coaches bring in similarly talented and mature recruits like themselves.

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