Marvin Harrison Jr.’s Absence Stings Ohio State in Cotton Bowl Loss

Posted By Kaptain Kush

The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic witnessed an unexpected setback for Ohio State as star wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. remained conspicuously absent in the team’s 14-3 defeat against Missouri in Arlington, Texas. Despite his status as a Heisman Trophy finalist and the recent recipient of the Biletnikoff Award, Harrison‘s non-participation raised concerns among fans and analysts alike.

Travelling with the team to Texas, Harrison refrained from joining practices in the week leading up to the Cotton Bowl, a detail disclosed in the Big Ten’s availability report released Friday evening. This unforeseen event created a void in Ohio State’s offensive lineup during a pivotal matchup.

A native of Philadelphia, the junior receiver is widely expected to declare for the NFL draft, although no formal announcement has been issued. ESPN’s Mel Kiper has already projected Harrison as the No. 2 prospect for the 2024 draft, placing him just behind USC quarterback Caleb Williams.

Marvin Harrison Jr., the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison, carved out an impressive career at Ohio State over the past three seasons. His accolades include unanimous first-team All-America honours in 2022 and 2023, amassing 2,474 yards and 28 touchdowns on 144 receptions. Notably, he was the sole non-quarterback invitee to the Heisman Trophy ceremony, securing a fourth-place finish in the prestigious voting.

The absence of Harrison, compounded by the unavailability of key players like linebacker Tommy Eichenberg and safety Lathan Ransom, undeniably impacted Ohio State’s performance in the Cotton Bowl. The Buckeyes struggled, managing only 12 first downs and 203 total yards in a disheartening defeat.

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