There are a number of football players considered by fans to be the greatest, including Joe Montana, Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Terrell Owens. However, there are many players who have achieved a lot during their football career, one of which is the dynamic Marvin Harrison. Marvin Harrison is one of the best wide receivers ever to hit the football field. He played 13 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and averaged 93 balls a year. For most of his career, he played with another legendary player, quarterback Peyton Manning. We will explore Harrison’s entire career from his early years in high school, through his time in the National Football League (NFL) and his life after retiring from football.
From early life to student years
Marvin Harrison was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 25, 1972. In the absence of parks and grass, Harrison discovered his passion for football by playing on the streets of Philadelphia on the pavement. He was raised by a hard-working mother who worked two jobs and instilled in the young Harrison a discipline, strong work ethic, and thrift that carried these qualities into his approach to the sport. He became a promising player playing running back and basketball while attending a Roman Catholic all-boys high school.
Several colleges tried to recruit him, but he ended up choosing Syracuse University, where he played for the Syracuse Orange football team. He was known for his staggering speed as a running back in high school, but his coaches at Syracuse switched him to wide receiver. They may have seen something in him that wasn’t quite obvious to the world, but it came to life as a three-year-old starter who set a high school record of 2,718 career yards that held until 2017. In his final year, he played with legendary quarterback Donovan. McNabb and received a bachelor’s degree in retail management.
In the 1996 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts selected Marvin Harrison 19th overall in the 1st round of the draft. The Colts won nine games during his rookie season, and he scored eight touchdowns that year. The next two years were a little tough for the Colts, winning only three games a year, and his receiving stats declined. Things got better for the team when they selected Peyton Manning in 1999 as the first pick in the draft. From 1999 to 2006, Harrison averaged 1,113 yards each season. In 2002, he reached an all-time high of 1,722 yards and set a single-season receiving record of 143 catches that could not be surpassed by Mark Thomas until 2019.
Harrison continued to perform exceptionally well each year, culminating in his first Super Bowl victory over the Chicago Bears in 2006. This would be the highlight of his career, earning him his first and only Super Bowl ring. Harrison suffered a knee injury the following year, which sidelined him for most of the season, playing only five games. Although he made a full recovery, the injury greatly affected his game and playing ability. In 2008, he threw five touchdowns and rushed for 636 yards. He chose to retire at the end of 2006, leaving the NFL with 128 touchdowns, 1,102 career receptions for 14,580 yards. Many consider him and Manning to be one of the best receiving quarterback duos in history, with 112 touchdowns and over 950 assists to that point. He cemented his place in wide receiver history, six-time All Pro status and eight-time Pro Bowl status.
Motivated people need to find ways to stay busy after retirement, and Marvin Harrison is no exception. As of 2009, he is an active homeowner and owns a total of 20 properties, many of which are located in the same area of North Philadelphia where he grew up. He even runs several businesses in Philadelphia, including the Playmaker sports bar, Chuckie’s Garage, his aunt’s soul food restaurant, and his mother Linda’s Italian restaurant. In 2011, Harrison was inducted into the Indianapolis Colt Ring of Honor. Harrison was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016 despite having been nominated twice before.
Harrison lives with his wife, Dawn, with whom he has two children, Jett and Marvin Jr. Marvin Jr. is slowly making a name for himself playing wide receiver at Ohio State University. Marvin Jr. shows flashes of brilliance on the field, like his old man, he is touted as the top 100 prospect in the recruiting class. Harrison Sr. has always been a private citizen, which has allowed his skills to say all the right things over the years. He is inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame for 2023 and even if he doesn’t, he will go down in history as one of the best players ever to touch football.