Sports

Marvin Harrison Jr’s former Ohio State teammate, CJ Stroud, gives NFL teams blunt advice: ‘Don’t be dumb’

By practically all accounts, Marvin Harrison Jr. is a can’t-miss prospect in this NFL Draft class.

The reigning Biletnikoff winner and back-to-back unanimous All-American is the top-ranked wide receiver in this class, and many are expecting him to be a top-five pick this month.

Harrison didn’t show off his talents at the NFL Scouting Combine; in his defense, he didn’t really need to. His talent and numbers speak for themselves.

Marvin Harrison and CJ Stroud

Marvin Harrison Jr., left, and C.J. Stroud of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrate a victory against the Terrapins in College Park, Maryland, on Nov. 19, 2022. (G Fiume/Getty Images)

That’s why his quarterback from 2021 and 2022 at Ohio State in C.J. Stroud is keeping it honest with general managers.

In speaking with the media on Monday, Stroud gave the front offices some advice: “Whoever’s up there man, be smart. Don’t be dumb. Don’t think too hard.”

Stroud said he heard rumblings that Harrison may not have the most potential of the class, despite being the most NFL-ready.

“That makes no sense. Like, what? If you’re ‘NFL ready,’ how is that not potential?” he asked rhetorically. “You want longevity. You want somebody who’s been doing it. For him, that’s what he sleeps, eats and he breathes.

Marvin Harrison and CJ Stroud

Marvin Harrison Jr. of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates his third-quarter touchdown with teammate C.J. Stroud during a game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Oct. 1, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio. (Ben Jackson/Getty Images)

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“He’s a worldly talent, but also his work ethic and how he gravitates that room. I challenged him that last year when Jaxon went down, he had to take over as leader, and he did that. He’s not really vocal, but he became vocal, and you can see his personality start to come out as he started to play more.”

Harrison and Stroud played full-time together for just one year; in his freshman year, Harrison was sitting behind Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. But when Wilson and Olave were drafted (10th and 12th overall in 2022, respectively), Harrison slid in quite nicely.

In his first season as a full-time player, Harrison racked up 77 receptions for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns. But Harrison proved it wasn’t just the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year who made his stats pop.

With Kyle McCord under center this past season, Harrison’s numbers did dip a tad (67 catches for 1,211 yards), but he found the end zone one more time than the previous year (14 receiving scores, one rushing).

Marvin Harrison Jr. plays against Michigan

Marvin Harrison Jr. of the Ohio State Buckeyes walks up the field during the second half against the Wolverines in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Nov. 25, 2023. (Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals currently own the fourth pick, and assuming that the top three selections are all quarterbacks, with Kyler Murray under center, Harrison seems likely to go to the desert.

His father, the Hall of Famer, was selected 19th out of Syracuse in 1996.

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