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Athlete Spotlight - Marquise Goodwin

It’s called the Red River Rivalry and pits two of the premier programs in college football against each other. Major bragging rights are annually on the line when the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners meet up in one of the more heated contests each season in college football.

Many plays can decide a football game, but during the 2009 version of the Red River Rivalry one specific 5-foot-9, 177-pound wide receiver made all the difference.

When speedy and undersized Texas Longhorn Marquis Goodwin returned a kick 95 yards for a touchdown to secure a 16-13 Texas win, he was nothing short of an instant hero in the Lone Star state. At that moment, an appearance in the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Track & Field Championships was the furthest thing from his mind. After all, being one of the best in the country in two different sports isn’t something that happens often.

In a couple of quick seasons with Texas as a wide receiver and a long jumper, Goodwin has accomplished more than most people ever dream of.

His latest accomplishment on the track was winning the long jump at the 2011 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in June in Eugene, Ore. and earning a spot on Team USA for the World Championships August 27-September 4 in Daegu, South Korea. And for Goodwin, making the world team along with his continued success on the football field didn’t come by accident

“Both,” Goodwin said when asked which was more gratifying, scoring the touchdown against Oklahoma or making the World Championships team. “They were both goals that I wanted to achieve. They were goals that I had and now I have to go out and set new ones.”

Those new objectives and his attention now shift specifically for Daegu and eventually the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London.

“I want to get on the medal stand, but my ultimate goal is not just to win a medal, it’s to win the [gold] medal,” Goodwin said. “I’m not training this hard to win just any medal.”

Goodwin essentially came from nowhere to win the long jump at USA Outdoors in 8.33m/27-4. It was easily a personal best for him and the first time he has jumped over 27 feet.

The win in Eugene also marks the beginning of a concentration on solely track and field for Goodwin. Shortly after the USA Outdoor Championships he announced he will redshirt the upcoming football season for the Longhorns to turn all his attention to track and field with the hopes of reaching the goals he set out for himself in Daegu and London.

“Coach (Mack) Brown was very supportive,” Goodwin said of the support of his decision by the Texas’ head football coach. “He knew what my chances were coming in and he knew that making the Olympic team has always been one of my aspirations.”

While a return to football is imminent, right now it’s all about track and field for Goodwin. He has full intentions to return for his final two years as a wide receiver for Texas in 2012 and 2013. After his collegiate eligibility is used up for both sports he will be faced with a decision of a career as a professional track and field athlete or a possible career in the National Football League. However, at the moment his aspirations remain clear.

“I really don’t know, time will tell,” Goodwin said about which sport he plans to pursue. “That’s a long time from now and I will worry about it then. Right now I am concentrating on the World Championships.”

With endless potential and a point in his life with few limits, Goodwin has a resume which speaks for itself.

A USA Outdoors champion, Goodwin also won the 2010 NCAA long jump championship, is a three-time Big 12 champion and a two-time World Junior champion. While still a high school athlete, he placed fifth in the long jump in the open division at the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships and set a national high school record in the process. On the football field he has caught 61 passes in just his two seasons.

With goals that change with each competition, Goodwin will look at each track and field competition or at each Red River Rivalry with the same outlook – doing all he can to be the best. Those goals to be the best will be on his mind when he lands in Daegu.

Jared Slinde
Communications Manager
USA Track & Field

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