And this qualifies as a really awesome story.
Way back in late June of 2011, Marquise Goodwin — the Texas wide receiver “moonlighting” as a world-class long jumper — won the long jump title at the USA outdoor national championships, leading the football player to announce a few days later that he would concentrate on track and take a redshirt in football for the 2011 season.
After falling a centimeter short in the long-jump finals of the World Championships in early September, Goodwin returned to the Longhorns football team, where he finished third on the team in receptions (33) and receiving yards (421). After falling that centimeter short in South Korea, he did the exact opposite in the Great Northwest over the weekend. And will represent his country as a result.
At the U.S. Olympic track finals Sunday night in Eugene, Or., Goodwin leaped farther than he ever had, setting a personal best at 27 feet, 4 inches. That effort won the event for Goodwin, and earned himself a spot on the team from the United States of America that will represent said country in the London Olympics beginning next month — on NBC.
“I started off pretty good and I ended even better, so it was a good day for me,” Goodwin said according to the school’s official website. “Earlier on in the year, I couldn’t really get it going until the last few jumps. Popping off a good jump with no scratch helped me relax and know that I can go out there and put out an even better jump.”
The opening ceremony for the Olympic Games is scheduled for Friday, July 27, with the closing ceremony set for Sunday, Aug. 12. What impact if any this personal triumph will have on the UT football program, which will open the season vs. Wyoming on Sept. 1, remains unclear.