July 16, 2024

Kyle McCord-Marvin Harrison Jr. high school connection: Revisiting the Ohio State QB-WR duo’s Philly prep career.

College football teams all season have tried to slow down Marvin Harrison Jr. Few have actually done it. When Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord has needed to make a throw, he looks first for No. 18. At the college level, these are among the best players in the country to play football. Earning a college football scholarship is hard. Earning it at the Division I level is harder. Earning it at the Power Five level is among the best of the best. The high school level? There’s no doubt it’s still a challenge, particularly at larger high schools. But there is still a sizable gap between being a starter in high school and being a starter at any college.

Now, if Power Five players are having a hard time slowing down McCord-to-Harrison, imagine how high school players must have felt. Because the current Ohio State quarterback and wide receiver didn’t just arrive in Columbus and meet each other for the first time. They weren’t even at rival schools. They both played for the same high school, in the same graduating class. And from sophomore year until graduation, it was McCord-to-Harrison.

McCord and Harrison both attended the same high school: St. Joseph’s Prep, a private, Catholic preparatory school in Philadelphia. St. Joseph’s Prep draws in student-athletes around the Philadelphia and New Jersey area, which is how it has become a football powerhouse in the state of Pennsylvania. Since the 6A classification was formed in 2016, St. Joseph’s Prep has won five of the seven total titles, and lost in the other two state championship games.

McCord and Harrison first began to play together as sophomores. Harrison began his high school career at La Salle College, where he racked up 20 receptions for 254 yards and scored five touchdowns as a freshman, according to PennLive, but opted to transfer to play at St. Joseph’s Prep as a sophomore. At the time, his biggest offer was from Syracuse, his dad’s alma mater. McCord had already been at St. Joseph’s Prep, but earned the starting job as a sophomore.

And when Harrison arrived at St. Joseph’s Prep, he wasn’t the daunting size he is now at Ohio State. Per PennLive, he was only around 6-foot, 6-1, according to St. Joseph’s Prep offensive coordinator Tom Sugden. But after he arrived, he quickly began rising in height and worked on bulking up. That first year, McCord and Harrison began to develop their relationship together. The Hawks won their second state championship in Class 6A that season, beating Harrisburg 40-20. Not long after, McCord committed to Ohio State.

According to Cleveland.com, McCord had been highly sought-after by Michigan and Clemson, but Ryan Day’s pursuit of McCord wound up convincing him to come to Columbus, committing in April 2019. In late October 2019, Harrison followed his teammate in committing to the Buckeyes. “I was so excited I can’t even explain it,” McCord said at the time of Harrison committing to Ohio State, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Just knowing we have a bunch of more years together after high school. Not too many kids get to say that about their receiver.

“He knew I wanted him to Columbus really bad,” McCord continued. “Even before I committed, we talked about going to the same school. I wanted him to go where it was best for him, but I’m extremely excited it’s the same school I’m going to.”

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