Is Marvin Harrison Jr. Playing in the Cotton Bowl? Latest on Ohio State WR’s Status

    Marvin Harrison Jr. is a polarizing figure in college football. A surefire first-round NFL Draft pick, is he playing in the 2023 Cotton Bowl?

    Is Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver and 2023 Biletnikoff Award winner Marvin Harrison Jr. playing in the Cotton Bowl? Here’s the latest on the status of the Ohio State Buckeyes’ star WR, who’s widely expected to be a top-five pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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    Is Marvin Harrison Jr. Playing in the 2023 Cotton Bowl?

    According to the Associated Press, there is “no indication” that Harrison Jr. will play in the Cotton Bowl against the Missouri Tigers.

    There was definitive confirmation regarding Harrison’s status for Ohio State’s bowl game in the hours ahead of the kickoff. The prevailing expectation was always that Harrison would ultimately sit out to preserve his health ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft cycle.

    Harrison’s practice status this past week meshed with that expectation. Harrison was not a full participant during Wednesday’s practice, nor did he stretch with the team on Tuesday. He was also absent from post-practice player interviews on Wednesday.

    MORE: College Football Bowl Game Opt-Out Tracker

    On personnel, offensive coordinator Brian Hartline alluded to the possibility of other players getting more reps in the bowl game — perhaps a sign that Harrison will indeed sit out. Here’s what Hartline had to say, per AP:

    “I’m excited to see some of these guys have different opportunities they may haven’t gotten through the year. We’re on the edge of seeing some different opportunities, and I’m looking forward to some guys taking it and running with it.”

    We won’t know for certain what Harrison’s status is until the game arrives. But as of now, the indications suggest that his collegiate career is over — which would be the expectation.

    Why Would Marvin Harrison Jr. Play in the Cotton Bowl?

    Harrison would have very little to gain from playing in the Cotton Bowl as a 2024 NFL Draft prospect. The 6’4″, 205-pound receiver has been a dominant force for two consecutive seasons, amassing 144 catches, 2,474 yards, and 28 touchdowns across 2022 and 2023.

    Harrison — the son of Hall of Fame NFL WR Marvin Harrison Sr. — is widely viewed as a generational WR prospect and the top prospect on PFN’s 2024 NFL Draft board. His scouting report at Pro Football Network says the following about his skill set:

    “Harrison is a unicorn of a route savant at 6’4″, who can also dominate against undersized defensive backs in contested situations and use his speed to generate chunk plays on schemed touches. He’s a truly elite three-level threat if there ever was one.

    Right out of the gate in the NFL, Harrison projects as a high-impact, attention-drawing X receiver who also has the versatility to play the movement Z spot. And he has the combined physical talent and near-flawless intangibles to support an All-Pro ceiling.”

    Is Marvin Harrison Jr. Entering the 2024 NFL Draft?

    The 2024 NFL Draft is likely to feature Marvin Harrison Jr. early in Round 1. But that’s only if he declares for the special eligibility waver that grants him early access to the draft.

    Of course, that’s common practice for underclassmen wishing to enter the draft, and the odds are Harrison does indeed enter the 2024 NFL Draft. As of kickoff of the 2023 Cotton Bowl Classic, however, Harrison Jr. has not publicly stated his intentions to enter the draft.

    Rumors of NIL deals ranging upwards of $20,000,000 have circulated around Harrison Jr. and his potential return to Ohio State in 2024. While those seem far-fetched, the proverbial expression “money talks” could very well play a factor into Harrison’s decision.

    The college football world and NFL nation will anxiously await Harrison Jr.’s officially decision as to whether or not he’ll enter the 2024 NFL Draft.

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