Ohio State Buckeyes: Marvin Harrison Jr. wins Big Ten Silver Football

Marvin Harrison Jr. is the Big Ten’s most valuable player and a unanimous All-American.

The Chicago Tribune announced Thursday he is the 2023 recipient of the Silver Football, which has gone to the league MVP since 1924 when legendary halfback Red Grange of Illinois became the first winner.

“I think definitely coming in as a freshman, those are dreams that are very, very far away, and I never thought that I’d be the position I am now,” he said during a press conference last week. “So I think as you get closer to it, you still start to realize what you’re accomplishing.”

Harrison is the 23rd honoree from Ohio State and the first since quarterback Justin Fields in 2020.

He is the first Ohio State receiver to claim the award, which last went to a receiver when Lee Gissendaner of Northwestern won it in 1992.

“You just look at the great receivers that’s come through here, and it’s kind of crazy how they didn’t win any awards or be nominated for the accolades that I’ve been getting the recognition for,” Harrison said. “So it’s definitely an honor for me.”

Harrison was already a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, which goes to the nation’s most outstanding player, and he won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s best receiver over the weekend.

“Really, I just want to represent that receiver room in particular, just for everybody (to know) Ohio State produces great wide receivers, and we still can receive the accolades that the rest of the country does,” Harrison said.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder is also the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and receiver of the year after catching 14 touchdown passes and averaging 100.9 yards receiving per games.

With 1,210 yards receiving, he is already the first Ohio State player to post multiple 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

Harrison is sixth all-time at Ohio State in receiving yards (2,613) and receptions (155) while ranking third in touchdown catches (31).

No Buckeye has more than his 15 games with at least 100 yards receiving.

Last year, he became the first Buckeye receiver to be a unanimous All-American, which means he was recognized by the five major selectors: the Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News, AFCA and Walter Camp Foundation.

Ohio State has produced 37 unanimous All-Americans, but the only Buckeyes to achieve the honor twice are Harrison, halfback Howard “Hopalong” Cassady, tailback Archie Griffin, offensive lineman Orlando Pace and Bob Ferguson, a fullback from Troy.

Ohio State’s previous Silver Football winners are end Wes Fesler (1930), fullback Jack Graf (1941), halfback Les Horvath (1944), fullback Ollie Cline (1945), halfback Vic Janowicz (1950), Cassady (1955), Griffin (1973 and ‘74), quarterback Cornelius Greene (1975), quarterback Art Schlichter (1981), tailback Keith Byers of Dayton (1984), tailback Eddie Georgia (1995), Pace (1996), quarterback Joe Germaine (1998), quarterback Troy Smith (2006), quarterback Braxton Miller of Springfield (2012 and ‘13), running back Ezekiel Elliott (2015), quarterback J.T. Barrett (2016), quarterback Dwayne Haskins (2017), defensive end Chase Young and Fields (2021).

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