It's not every day that you're excusing one of your veteran wide receivers from summer practice so that he can compete in the Olympic Games. However, that is exactly what Texas head coach Mack Brown gets to do.
Over the weekend, senior wide receiver Marquise Goodwin qualified for the Olympic Games, earning a spot on the U.S. Olympic track and field team, per Texas' official website. He qualified for the long jump by leaping 27 feet and 4.25 inches.
This is not the first time Brown has come face-to-face with losing Goodwin to track and field for a period of time. Before the 2011 season began, Goodwin asked Brown if he could take a redshirt in football. He wanted to concentrate on track. After missing the long-jump finals at the World Championships in September 2011 by a centimeter, Goodwin returned to the Texas football team.
Without Goodwin, the Longhorns will face a gap in their wide receiver corps for summer workouts. In 2011, Goodwin finished with 33 receptions for 421 yards and two touchdowns, per CBS Sports. The 5'9", 177-lb senior adds depth to an offense that is struggling to find an identity behind quarterbacks junior Casey McCoy, sophomore David Ash and freshman Connor Brewer. The senior is a leader on and off the field as well.
While Goodwin's leadership would be valuable during the dog days of late summer workouts, the good news for Texas fans is that he won't be gone for too long. According to ESPN, the Longhorns open fall camp on Aug. 2. Goodwin's qualifying round in London is on Aug. 3, with the finals the following day. This will allow the senior to get back just in time to begin practicing with his team. He may miss a few days, but I'm sure no one will mind.
While the Longhorns have a lot of questions to answer at the quarterback position, Goodwin will continue to add value to the wide receiver slot in 2012. Beyond Goodwin, the receiver position is struggling a bit. Injuries have plagued sophomore Miles Onyegbule, who suffered a pectoral injury and will miss all of fall camp, and sophomore John Harris, who recently recovered from a broken foot, per Christian Corona of the Dallas Morning News.
However, sophomore Jaxon Shipley and junior Mike Davis will return as starters for the Longhorns alongside Goodwin, while junior DeSean Hales had an impressive spring, according to Corona. This is good news for the Texas receivers, who will be looking to grow on their own while Goodwin is gone.
There is a lot of depth for the Longhorns at the wide receiver position, but Goodwin will still be missed while he is gone. He brings a lot of adaptability and leadership to the team. Plus, the world now knows that Goodwin can jump nine yards into the end zone if need be.
So Longhorns don't have much to worry about while Goodwin is overseas. His trip to the London Games will be a highlight for Texas fans who will hope to see the wide receiver bring home the gold.
It may just bring good luck for the Longhorns season.
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