Marvin Harrison

Drafted out of Syracuse University with the nineteenth pick in the very first round in the 1996 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts, Marvin Harrison was one of many successful wide receivers chosen in the much heralded class of 1996. Depending on how you look at it, here are ten listed in order of success: Marvin Harrison, Terrell Owens, Keyshawn Johnson, Terry Glenn, Muhsin Muhammad, Eric Moulds, Joe Horn, Amani Toomer, Bobby Engram and Eddie Kennison who was chosen one pick before the fore-mentioned head of the class Marvin Harrison.


Marvin Harrison #88

Player Info

Height 6' 0"
Weight 185 lbs
DOB: 8/25/1972
Wide Receiver


NFL Draft

1996/Round 1/Pick 19

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Career Highlights

Pro Bowl 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
Records 143 Receptions in 2002

Team(s) As A Player

Indianapolis Colts 1996-2008

Aside from having a great professional career, Marvin was also at the start of a special something at Syracuse teaming up with the Big East all-time statistical leading quarterback Donavan McNabb for one season and helping groom former Cleveland Browns’ draft pick Kevin Johnson.

The Start of Something Beautiful 

Getting off to a slow start in his rookie season, Marvin ended with 64 catches for 836 yards and 8 touchdowns. Mainly because he was on a pretty awful team, it was hard for him to get much attention despite decent production. It wasn’t until 1998, when Indianapolis owned the number one pick in the draft, nearly deciding on “headcase” Ryan Leaf, that the Colts solidified the greatest pass catching combination in NFL history by selecting Peyton Manning. A two time MVP in Manning was exactly what the Colts needed. Two years into the relationship, Manning and Harrison would blow up.

“There's no question there's a respect factor that Marvin presents and causes teams to do that double coverage,” Peyton Manning said. “Obviously, if he's being double covered, someone else is being single covered. You have to take advantage of that, and that's not exactly the answer that Marvin wants to hear. We do have to find ways to get him open. Things are better for the Colts when Marvin Harrison gets the ball.” (1)

Marvin Harrison Dominating the Hash 

In 1999, Marvin propelled out of the gates into a bonafied superstar at the receiver position. Being the fourth season in the league, he more than doubled his yardage production from any of his previous three seasons, amassing 115 catches for 1663 yards and 12 touchdowns. This was, however, just the start of a four-year stretch proving to be the most dominant four-year stretch by any receiver in NFL history. During that stretch, he totaled 469 catches, 6322 yards and 52 touchdowns, with an average year of 117 catches, 1580 yards and 13 touchdowns. From 1999 to the present (2006) Harrison has been elected to every Pro Bowl in Hawaii, totaling eight straight.

Throughout the years, Marvin Harrison has made many great catches, even though he doesn’t make a bid deal about them. “He makes it look routine, but that was an abnormal catch,” Peyton Manning said. “Few guys can make that catch going across, when they don't know what's ahead of them, (with) one hand. Marvin spoils us all with catches like that.” (3)

Harrison's Record Breaker 

It was a career year, 2002. Marvin would accomplish the unthinkable; 143 catches was the part that stands out, obliterating the previous mark of 123 held by former Detroit receiver Herman Moore. Beyond that it was also a career high output of 1722 yards to go along with 11 touchdown catches. During that record season, he had 12 games with at least 8 catches, another record. Beyond 2002, Marvin recently accomplished another record. He had at least one catch in every game in his illustrious career, 170 and counting.

“When I came (to the Colts), I knew he was a very good player,” Tony Dungy said. “I didn't realize how great he was, and then watching him in practice and seeing him play the last five years, he's as good as anybody who's ever played. I try to think of Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, who I saw every day, and Cris Carter, who I saw every day for four years. Marvin is in that same caliber. He just is exceptional. I didn't see Jerry Rice day in and day out, but other than that, he's better than anybody I've ever been around.” (1)

Marvin Harrison World Champion 

One thing every athlete in any sport dreams of is championships. That came for Marvin and his Colts in early February of 2007. Nasty weather and awful playing conditions weren’t the only thing to be glum about, as rookie returner Devin Hester, for the opponent Chicago Bears, took the opening kickoff back for a touchdown. An early deficit however, would not hamper the heart of a champion. Marvin didn’t have a stunning day as far as statistics go, just 5 catches for 59 yards, but the constant threat was all the Colts needed as fellow Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne caught a 53-yard touchdown that seemingly caught Chicago’s secondary by surprise, thus altering momentum in the way of Indianapolis. A steady effort by game MVP Peyton Manning helped secure this team’s place in history. It is a team game by the way and all 53 Colts made this dream come true.

The way I see Marvin, as well as many others, is like a man who comes to work every day to do his job. “I get letters from people saying that their kids look up to me and they like the way I carry myself on the field,” Harrison said. “I've been getting a lot of compliments from people who see how I carry myself. It's just what I do. I'm just being myself. I'm not being something I'm not.” (1)

When Marvin Harrison was asked about someday being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Harrison replied, “It's hard to not think about it when people start talking about it. I don't need to be famous. At the end of the day, I just want my teammates to know that I was a great player that did a lot to help us win football games. I have a lot of years left to play and when the time comes I'll sit back and think about all the things I've accomplished.” (1)

When Harrison was asked why he doesn’t draw attention to himself, he said. “I don't think there's that much to talk about. I'm the type of guy that wants to go out and play the game and not talk about it.” (2) I would take a player dedicated to his profession the way Marvin is any day of the week over a showboating, look at me player. Just so you know, Marvin, we are watching.

By T. Lewis,
July 5, 2007

Marvin Harrison Biography Sources

(1)  Humble Harrison will go down as one of the best (2007, February 3) Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
(2)  Star Colts receiver Harrison would rather do his job than draw attention to himself (2007, February 1) Detroit Free Press
(3)  Reggie Hayes column: Sunday's spectacular snag gives fans one more reason to cherish Marvin Harrison (2006, August 21) News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, IN)

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