Ohio State’s Brian Hartline: Marvin Harrison Jr. ‘pretty boring … lives on that Jugs machine’

Apr 30, 2024, 3:55 PM

Brian Harline and Marvin Harrison Jr....

Offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Brian Hartline of the Ohio State Buckeyes talks with Marvin Harrison Jr. #18 prior to the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on September 23, 2023 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Ohio State co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach Brian Hartline meant it as the utmost compliment when he said that former Buckeye receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. is a “pretty boring person.”

He said that to paint the picture of the No. 4 overall pick and new Arizona Cardinal living the football-obsessed life.

“He just wants to be the greatest receiver that has ever played,” Hartline told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke. “I don’t say that lightly. Literally, his goal is to be the best receiver to ever play a game. Not be a first-round pick, not be a Biletnikoff (Award) winner.

“When he says (he’s) chasing his dad, he means passing his dad (in production). He means passing everybody that played the position before him.”

Harrison’s name of course helps frame his upbringing. Marvin Harrison Sr. ranks fifth in NFL history with 1,102 receptions and ninth with 14,580 receiving yards.

His son has built the expectations around the assumption that he’s learned from his dad. He topped the 1,200-yard mark and scored 14 touchdowns in each of the past two years after playing sparingly at Ohio State as a freshman.

Hartline, who played in the NFL himself, saw first-hand how Harrison’s love for the game wasn’t just forced on him.

“Football is not what he does, it is who he is,” Hartline said. “He lives that way. He’s a pretty boring person off the field outside of hanging with his girlfriend, Charokee, and playing some games a little bit. Marvin doesn’t do much. He lives on that Jugs machine and is constantly studying the guys around him.”

“He doesn’t say a lot. I think that he has definitely grown in the willingness to help others. It is up to the coach that will be coaching him to take his habits and take his film and take his mannerisms, the way he operates, and use him as an example. He will give you plenty of clips to use him as an example. He will not step outside his wheelhouse very often and call somebody out or do anything like that.”

Hartline said Harrison never came to him as a play-caller asking for more touches. In fact, the Ohio State coach said he would often go to his receiver to let him know the staff was trying to get him more open.

For the Cardinals, Harrison will be asked to be the No. 1 wideout from the jump. As the expectations have followed him because of his name, Harrison isn’t expected to let the pressure get to him, according to Hartline.

So what will he bring? And what would his former coach challenge him to improve on?

“Expect him to know his job description. I expect to know him how to fit in the offense,” Hartline said. “If he’s to occupy two defenders for somebody else, I expect him to do that at the highest level. I would like to challenge him once he feels confident in his role, try to enhance those around them and make them better, lifestyle-wise around him, so he can enhance the team not only on the field but off the field.”

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Ohio State’s Brian Hartline: Marvin Harrison Jr. ‘pretty boring … lives on that Jugs machine’