Will Marvin Harrison Jr. Return to School in 2024? Ohio State WR at a Crossroads

    Is Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr. set to return to school in 2024, or will he declare for the 2024 NFL Draft? Here's what we know, and what factors in.

    Will Ohio State Buckeyes star wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. return to school for the 2024 season, or will he declare for the 2024 NFL Draft? Here’s what we know about Harrison’s draft decision and the many factors at play.

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    Will Marvin Harrison Jr. Return to Ohio State in 2024?

    The prevailing expectation is that Marvin Harrison Jr. will declare for the 2024 NFL Draft. But the last time he spoke about the subject, Harrison said he was undecided on whether or not to declare or return.

    “I’m still undecided,” Harrison said to media members ahead of the Heisman Trophy ceremony on December 9, per ESPN. “You guys know, coming into this year, I wanted to beat ‘The Team Up North’ [Michigan] and win a Big Ten championship. And obviously, I didn’t do that this year.”

    Ahead of Ohio State’s Cotton Bowl clash against Missouri, Harrison has been present with the team but hasn’t fully participated in practices. His limited status suggests that he’s gearing up to declare once his team’s season is finished, but we won’t know for certain until after the game.

    MORE: College Football Bowl Game Opt-Out Tracker

    Assuming that Harrison is still undecided, Harrison’s desire to beat Michigan and win a Big Ten Championship factors into the equation, as does his NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) valuation.

    Harrison had an NIL valuation of $1.3 million ahead of the 2023 season, in which he caught 67 passes for 1,211 yards and 14 scores. If he returned, the numbers would likely only increase for the reigning Biletnikoff winner and son of NFL Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison Sr.

    Harrison’s desire for more team success and his comparable NIL value as a college football star could theoretically sway him toward returning. But Harrison’s never had a better time to declare than now.

    Harrison’s Case To Declare for the 2024 NFL Draft Still Strong

    There are rumors that Harrison’s NIL valuation for 2024 could rival the money he’ll make in his leap to the NFL, but this is extremely unlikely.

    Harrison is not only the top non-quarterback prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft, but he’s also the top overall prospect on Pro Football Network’s board and widely regarded as a generational talent.

    Even with quarterbacks Caleb Williams and Drake Maye affecting the top of the board, Harrison is still expected to be a top-five pick at worst.

    At fifth overall, Harrison would earn a rookie contract with a projected value of over $32 million, with a signing bonus of over $20 million. If he were to go first or second overall to a non-QB needy team, he’d have a contract valued at over $36 million, with a signing bonus over $23 million.

    Harrison would earn the most money from a prospective rookie deal, and he’d also accelerate his timeline to top-end WR money down the road.

    Suppose Harrison were to make a Pro Bowl in his first four seasons. In that case, he’d earn a fifth-year option value at just under $20 million, and a second contract — if he were to be paid top-10 positional money — would put him well over $20 million annually.

    Put more simply, Harrison could very well field compelling NIL offers to return, but it’s unlikely that those NIL offers would compare to the financial gain the NFL will present him.

    Individually, Harrison has nothing else to prove as an NFL Draft prospect. Returning to school would only delay his NFL timeline by one year while also presenting injury risk. There are reasons to consider a return, but Harrison is still very likely to declare.

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

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