Harrison was a three-year starter at Syracuse University, playing with Donovan McNabb in his final year. Harrison set a school record with 2,718 career receiving yards and ranked second in school history with 20 receiving touchdowns to Rob Moore. Harrison graduated with a degree in retailing.
In 2002 Harrison broke Herman Moore's single season receptions record by 20 receptions. He finished with 143 catches, and he also had over 1,700 yards receiving. In December, 2006 Harrison became just the fourth player in NFL history to record 1000 receptions, joining Jerry Rice (1549), Cris Carter (1101), and Tim Brown (1094). He is also one of only seven wide receivers in NFL history to reach 100 touchdowns.
During a 2007 game against the Denver Broncos, Harrison injured his knee while attempting a block and was lost for the season, making only a small appearance in their lone playoff game that season. It marked only the second time Harrison had missed regular season action due to injuries and the first since 1998.
On December 14, 2008 in a game against the Detroit Lions, Harrison caught his 1,095th career reception, passing Tim Brown for third all time. He passed Cris Carter to become second on the all-time NFL reception record list with 1,102 receptions during a 23–0 Colts victory over the Tennessee Titans on December 28, 2008.
Following the 2008 NFL season, Harrison asked for and was granted his release by the Colts. After sitting out the entire 2009 season, Harrison quietly retired from the NFL.
Averaged 84.77 receptions per season, which is second to the all time record held by Sterling Sharpe who averaged 85 receptions per season. He had previously been averaging 93 per season until 2007, where he missed the majority of games with a knee injury, resulting in a 20 reception season.
4th most touchdown receptions in a decade (95) 2000–2009
3rd most receiving yards per game throughout a career (76.7 yds/game)
2nd most receiving yards in a decade (10,439) 2000–2009
Holds the NFL record for receptions in a single season with 143, set in 2002.
Most receptions in a 2 season period (252), 2001–2002; 3 season period (354), 2000–2002; 4 season period (469), 1999–2002; 5 season period (563), 1999–2003; 6 season period (649), 1999–2004; 7 season period (731), 1999–2005; 8 season period (826), 1999–2006; 9 season period (885), 1998–2006; 10 season period (958), 1997–2006; 11 season period (1,022), 1996–2006.
Most receiving yards in a 4 season period (6,322), 1999–2002; 5 season period (7,594), 1999–2003.
Most games in a career with at least 8 receptions (51), 9 receptions (32), 11 receptions (12), 12 receptions (8), & 13 receptions (4)
Most games in career with at least 14 receptions (2)-tied with several players
Most consecutive games with at least 6 receptions (16) and 9 receptions (6)
Marvin Harrison and Peyton Manning currently hold the NFL record for passing touchdowns between a WR and QB with 112.
Marvin Harrison and Peyton Manning currently hold the NFL record for passing yards between a WR and QB with 12,756.
Marvin Harrison and Peyton Manning currently hold the NFL record for completions in a season between a WR and QB with 143, 2002
Marvin Harrison and Peyton Manning currently hold the NFL record for passing yards in a season between a WR and QB with 1,722, 2002
Harrison trails only Jerry Rice in 1,500 or more receiving yard seasons. He has 3 such seasons, Jerry Rice had 4.
First player to record 2 seasons of 1,600 yards receiving in NFL history, (1999 & 2002).(Torry Holt became the 2nd, (2000 & 2003)
First player to have 50+ receptions in his first 11 seasons in NFL history.(Torry Holt became the 2nd on December 27, 2009)
With 59 career 100-yard receiving games, Marvin Harrison ranks No. 3 all time behind Jerry Rice (76) and Randy Moss (64).
Second-fastest player to achieve 100 receiving touchdowns.
Consecutive seasons of 1,000+ all-purpose yards and 10+ touchdown receptions (8), 1999–2006.
On December 18, 2006, Marvin Harrison and Indianapolis Colt teammate Reggie Wayne became the only NFL wide receiver tandem to catch 75 receptions and 1,000 yards in 3 straight seasons. The game was on Monday Night and was played against the Cincinnati Bengals.
On November 17, 2002, made his 600th career reception against the Dallas Cowboys.
On October 12, 2003, made his 700th career reception against the Carolina Panthers. And is the fastest player to do so reaching the mark in 114 games.
On November 8, 2004, made his 800th career reception against the Minnesota Vikings. And is the fastest player to do so reaching the mark in 131 games.
On November 20, 2005, made his 900th career reception against the Cincinnati Bengals. And is the fastest player to do so reaching the mark in 149 career games.
On December 10, 2006, made his 1000th reception against the Jacksonville Jaguars. And is the fastest player to do so reaching the mark in just 167 career games.
On December 28, 2008, made his 1,100th career reception against the Tennessee Titans in his last regular season game and his last game in Indianapolis. He is the fastest player to do so reaching the mark in just 190 career games. Half way through the second quarter, he moved into second place for most receptions all time with 1,102, trailing only Jerry Rice.
Most receptions over 1st 7 seasons (665), 8 seasons (759), 9 seasons (845), 10 seasons (927), 11 seasons (1,022) and 13 seasons (1,102) seasons of career of any NFL receiver
Only player in NFL history to catch a pass in every game
Most average receptions per game in a career (5.8) - 1996-2008
Most consecutive games with 8+ receiving yards (190), (206 if counting playoffs) – every game
Most consecutive games with a 6+ yard reception (190), (206 if counting playoffs) – every game
Most consecutive games with an 8+ yard reception (177), (192 if counting playoffs)
Marvin Harrison is in second place for the most consecutive games with a reception with 190 (206 counting playoffs), only behind Jerry Rice who had 274.
Harrison was sued by Dwight Dixon, a convicted drug dealer who was shot outside Chuckie's Garage, a North Philadelphia business owned by Harrison, on April 29, 2008. The two men had two altercations earlier in the day when Harrison denied Dixon entry into a sports bar he owned and operated. Dixon alleged that Harrison was the gunman who shot at him. On January 6, 2009, Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham confirmed that it was Harrison's gun that fired shots at Dixon but they had been unable to determine who pulled the trigger.
The Philadelphia District Attorney also stated that she was not going to pursue charges in this case due to conflicting witness statements. Dixon, who had initially given the police a false name and claimed he was robbed by two men when interviewed at the hospital, was subsequently convicted of filing a false report for this incident on January 28, 2009. He was sentenced to 6 months probation. Dixon's attorney reportedly sought a new trial as the conviction violated Dixon's parole in an unrelated case. Harrison is also being sued by Robert Nixon, a victim caught in the crossfire of the shooting who identified Harrison as the shooter in a statement to police.
Dixon died on July 21, 2009 when he was shot several times while in his car outside a building two blocks away from Harrison's sports bar. On June 16, 2010, Shaun Assael of ESPN The Magazine reports that police confiscated a 9mm handgun from Harrison during a routine traffic stop on Wednesday in Philadelphia. Police will test the gun to see if it matches three spent 9mm shell casings that ended up inside the truck driven by the late Dwight Dixon at the scene of an April 2008 shooting. Dixon, who eventually was shot and killed after filing a civil lawsuit, claimed that the casings came from a second gun that Harrison fired. Authorities already have matched other bullets to a separate gun that Harrison owns—and that he admitted was in his possession on the day the shooting occurred. Police found the gun during a search of Harrison's Escalade. The stop occurred as Harrison drove the vehicle the wrong way on a one-way street. Harrison claimed he did not have a gun. But police believed they saw Harrison put what appeared to be a weapon in the console between the two front seats. They concluded that they had probable cause to search the vehicle, and they found the gun. The FBI has become involved in the investigation.