U. S long jumper Marquise Goodwin jumps while on his way to winning the men's long jump at the U.S. Olympic athletics trials in Eugene

Texas WR qualifies for London Olympics


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.

Report: Myles Jack leaves UCLA, will enter NFL Draft

Myles Jack
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Well here’s a bit of a shocker for you this morning. UCLA running back Myles Jack has reportedly withdrawn from UCLA and will prepare to enter the NFL Draft in 2016. The news was first reported, via Twitter, by Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated.

Jack has played linebacker and fullback for the Bruins, and his decision to turn pro now comes off feeling a bit strange. Head coach Jim Mora certainly questions the decision by Jack.

“I think it’s very risky to do this. There’s a lot of speculation to ….where he fits,” Mora explained, via Thamel. “I’ve been in 25 Draft rooms. I’ve never seen a guys taken off (two games of junior tape)… Myles’ talent is without question. I hope he’s put enough out there where they can get a true evaluation.”

Jack suffered a season-ending knee injury last month in a practice. The injury led USC Athletics Director Pat Haden to send him a letter wishing him well in a sign of good sportsmanship between conference and crosstown rivals. Perhaps the season-ending injury led Jack to consider the consequences of returning in 2016 in a UCLA uniform, with players not being compensated for their play. The question then becomes if Jack is a good enough talent to go in round one, or even round two, considering the latest injury situation for him.

Well, here is the instant opinion of our friend Josh Norris of Rotoworld and an NFL Draft analyst…

Jack was a two-time second team All-Pac-12 selection and Pac-12 Defensive and Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2013.

Hokies QB Brewer a gametime decision, but RB Williams out for the year

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Virginia Tech has been playing just about the whole season without starting quarterback Michael Brewer after the Hokies signal-caller broke his collarbone in the first game of the season. Now, Brewer is on his way back to the field. Brewer has been medically cleared to return to practice in Blacksburg. It may still be another few weeks until he gets back in a game for Virginia Tech.

Brewer broke his collarbone in Virginia Tech’s season-opening loss to Ohio State. Once he left the game, it seemed the Hokies were unable to give the defending national champions much of a fight for a second straight season. He was originally expected to miss eight to 10 weeks of action, which would have meant a return for a Halloween game against Boston College as the earliest likely date. Virginia Tech has a bye week after the Boston College game, meaning Brewer could then be available for a Thursday night division game against Georgia Tech on November 12. Considering all of that, the chance Brewer might be available to play this Friday night against N.C. State is quite a pleasant surprise for a Virginia Tech team in need of some help after dropping to 2-3 after a second straight loss last weekend. Andy Bitter of The Roanoke Times says Brewer could be a gametime decision for Frank Beamer.

The outlook is not quite as possible for Hokies running back Marshawn Williams. Williams will be out for the rest of the season after reinjuring his left knee in practice in late September. It is the same knee that was surgically repaired last December. Williams can use this season as his redshirt season as he has not played in a game this season. He will still have three years of eligibility remaining when he returns to the team next fall.