Mark Harrison grew up in Stratford, Ct. where he played varsity football and ran track at Brunnell high school. While at Bunnell, Harrison played on state championship teams in 2006 and 2007, helping the Bulldogs to their first undefeated season (13-0) in 2007. As a senior, he caught 61 passes for 1,673 yards and 17 touchdowns. Harrison was a concensus All-State honoree for Bunnell High School. He also helped win 2 state championships as both a sophomore and junior. Harrison led his team to a 34-3 record during his career.
The 6'3, 230 lb wide receiver was recruited by 8 colleges and chose to go to Rutgers to start his path to the NFL. By the numbers, it was a solid college career for a wide receiver: 107 career catches for 1,769 yards and 18 TDs – the second-most in school history. But Mark Harrison wasn’t sure if he’d done quite enough during his Rutgers days to catch the attention of pro scouts. His best season was in 2010 playing opposite of Mohamed Sanu. In 2011 Mark's numbers would plummet with him only catching 14 balls in 12 games played for a total of 274 yards and 2 touchdowns. He would drop some high profile passes during his struggle. His 2012 senior year would allow him to bounce back, where he caught 44 passes for 583 yards and six touchdowns during his senior year, you could expect Harrison won’t hear his name called early on in the NFL Draft.
Mark Harrison's Combine results
Mark was admittedly worried that he wouldn't get an invite from the NFL Combine, the potential employee interview place, but when the phone rang and he answered -
When I got it I couldn’t believe it was real," Harrison said by phone from Weston, Fla., where he is shuttling between two fitness facilities – one under the tutelage of Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall – to prepare for the Combine. "I mean, my heart stopped for a second. I had to make sure I was still breathing. The NFL has always been a dream."
You can take a look at his numbers there. Not too bad...
Mark had an interview with - Draft Zone Prospect: Mark Harrison, WR, Rutgers
Mark Harrison's Scouting Report
12/04/2012 - 12/4/12 NFL DRAFT SCOUT RISER: 4. Mark Harrison, WR, Rutgers...Few receivers have the size, strength and speed of Harrison, who hasn't always lived up to the measureables. However he flashed his big play ability against Louisville last Thursday with a season-best 131 yards on six catches, including a 65-yard catch-and-go touchdown with Harrison doing most of the work. Listed at 6-3 and 230 pounds, he is a huge target for the quarterback and uses his large wingspan to snatch grabs out of the air and his muscle build to create mismatches against cornerbacks and shrug off would-be tacklers.
Harrison lacks much burst and needs a few steps to accelerate to his top speed, but has decent build-up speed with his long strides to run away from trouble. He has developed as a senior from past years, showing much better discipline and reliability with his hands to secure catches. Harrison does a nice job coming back to the ball to help his quarterback and does well in traffic to use his frame against defenders. He won t wow anyone athletically, but his physical skills could earn him a late round draft pick, especially after leading the Scarlet Knights in catches this season with 42 receptions. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
Throughout Greg Schiano's tenure as head coach, the Scarlet Knights have featured a vertical passing attack that has led to some eye-popping production from talented receivers. Mohamed Sanu left as the school's all-time receptions leader, but most of his catches came over the middle. Prior to him was more classic outside burners like Kenny Britt, Tiquan Underwood and Tim Brown, among others.
As recently as a year ago, Harrison looked poised to join these ranks, catching 44 passes for 829 yards and nine scores to overshadow Sanu. Rather than take off in 2010, however, Harrison slid back, struggling with drops amid the expecations of becoming a superstar. While he averaged a gaudy 19.6 yards per catch a season ago, his production slipped mightily and he finished with "just" 14 grabs for 274 yards and two scores -- a catch total that ranked him fifth on the team.
Harrison has the blend of size and speed that every scout is looking for but to earn more than late round or free agent considerations, he'll need to revert back to the consistent playmaking form he showed earlier in his career.
"Pro Day [at Rutgers] will be a huge opportunity, but I want a chance to do the same thing at the combine in front of every team."
Harrison has NFL size at 6-foot-3 and plans to show off his athleticism to any team willing to watch. Running cold, after a week away from workouts, Harrison reported a 4.50 40-yard dash and is aiming for a 4.38 at the end of his training.
For comparison, now NFL receiver Tiquan Underwood ran a 4.41 40-yard dash, Kenny Britt ran a 4.47 and Mohamed Sanu clocked a 4.65.
"I’m going to surprise a lot of people," Harrison said.
Harrison is two weeks into training in Florida at The Chamber Facility in Davie, Fla. His training partners, Chris Chambers and Brandon Marshall, have him learning every day, he said.