Marvin Harrison Jr. Already Back on the Field Catching Passes, Impressed Teammates with Toughness in South Bend

By Dan Hope on September 27, 2023 at 3:21 pm
Marvin Harrison Jr.

The ankle injury Marvin Harrison Jr. suffered against Notre Dame isn’t stopping him from putting in work during Ohio State’s bye week.

During an interview session with several players prior to Ohio State’s practice on Wednesday, Harrison was seen going through his usual routine of catching passes on the Monarc machine and appeared to be moving normally despite having his ankle taped up.

While the ankle injury, which Ryan Day described as a sprain after the win over Notre Dame, was significant enough that Harrison had to be helped off the field after the play, it didn’t stop him from returning to the game for the Buckeyes’ next possession, making a catch on his first play back in the game and playing the rest of the game. With Harrison already being back on the field catching passes, there’s no indication that Harrison will have to miss any time going forward.

Harrison already played through an ankle sprain for most of last season, so while Ohio State could consider the option of resting Harrison for a game or two to ensure he’s fully healthy, there’s reason to believe he’ll have no desire to spend any time on the sideline.

Kyle McCord said Harrison’s prompt return to the field in South Bend was just the latest example of his high school teammate exhibiting toughness.

“He could have easily just preserved himself in that moment, but that's not who he is. It's not the type of competitor that he is. And for him to come back and still have an impact, and obviously make plays right away, and then have that huge catch on that last drive, I mean I think that gives you everything you need to know about Marvin,” McCord said Wednesday. “The things that you can't coach, and that was big for him to come back.”

Emeka Egbuka offered a similar assessment of Harrison’s toughness and team-first approach.

“Toughness can either be developed or you can be just raised in it, and I feel like Marvin has done a tremendous job of developing it because that's something that we've been emphasizing as an entire team,” Egbuka said. “And it definitely showed in that moment. It was huge for the team.”

While Harrison didn’t have his most productive game against Notre Dame, catching only three passes for 32 yards, that came largely as a result of him drawing bracket coverage throughout the game. Both McCord and Egbuka said his impact on the game could not be quantified by his statistics because of how he helped open things up for the rest of the offense.

“Obviously, I think last game wasn't his best statistically, but the impact he had on that game I think is something that doesn't get talked about enough,” McCord said. “For him to draw two defenders most of the night was huge for our offense.”

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