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The Class of 2016 will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during a spectacular ceremony held in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 6, 7 p.m. The class includes Ed Debartolo Jr., Tony Dungy, Kevin Greene, Brett Favre, Marvin Harrison, Ken Stabler, Orlando Pace and Dick Stanfel.
This is the fourth installment in a series highlighting the Class of 2016.
Wide receiver Marvin Harrison was the 19th overall choice by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1996 NFL Draft. The Colts obtained the pick in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for Jeff George, the number one overall pick in the 1990 draft. Harrison quickly became the number one weapon for the first overall pick in 1998, Peyton Manning. Over the next 13 seasons, Harrison registered staggering numbers as he sprinkled his name throughout the NFL's record book.
The Syracuse grad exhibited his abilities in his first year when he earned All-Rookie honors and led the Colts in receptions (64), receiving yards (836) and total touchdowns (8). His best game that season occurred on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 15 when he pulled in six receptions for 106 yards and 3 TDs to earn the AFC Player of the Week Award. He matched that three-touchdown effort eight more times during his career.
Harrison had a breakout season in 1999 and established himself as one of the NFL's elite receivers. Teamed with Manning, he racked up 115 receptions for a league-leading 1,663 yards and 12 TDs. The performance set off a remarkable string of eight straight years with 1,000 or more yards receiving and 10 or more touchdowns. It was also the first of four straight years with 100 or more receptions. His best NFL season may have been 2002 when he shattered the NFL single-season record for receptions (143) and had a career-high 1,722 yards and 11 TDs.
In 2004, Harrison tied his career-high for touchdowns in a season with 15 (he set the mark in 2001) on top of 86 catches for 1,113 yards. His effort was a major factor in the Colts' march to Super Bowl XLI where the team defeated the Chicago Bears 29-17 in a rain-soaked matchup in South Florida.
A member of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s, Harrison retired following the 2008 season with 1,102 career receptions for 14,580 yards and 128 touchdowns. The eight-time Pro Bowler finished second to Jerry Rice in league annals in career receptions, most consecutive games with a reception (190) and most career 100-yards games (59). His yardage total ranked him fourth all-time and his career TDs (128) were ninth on the all-time list at the time of his retirement.
Harrison, who was a six-time All-Pro and an eight-time All-AFC selection, achieved most of his success with Manning as his quarterback. In 158 games together, the duo connected on 953 passes for 12,766 yards and 112 TDs, the most completions, yards and touchdowns by a tandem in NFL history.