Longhorns surge past Rebels in first road test

Chris Hummer

Marquise Goodwin lines up on the outside and you can see the defensive back adjust. They always takes a few steps back in preparation for Goodwin’s Olympic-level burst of speed off the line, a speed his teammates can only compare to a fleet cartoon hedgehog.

“Man, Marquise is like Sonic out there,” wide receiver Mike Davis said.

That’s pretty lofty praise considering Davis isn’t exactly a plodder himself, but Goodwin seems to be on his own level when he glides over the hash marks. His quick acceleration has helped him become Texas’ big play threat early this season, a role the senior shined in most recently against Ole Miss.

In the Longhorns’ first road test of the season, the elder statesman of the Texas receiving corps exploded for 106 yards receiving, 80 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns. Impressively, Goodwin put up these numbers in only four touches, which means he averaged a staggering 46.5 yards each time he handled the ball.

However, as potentially prolific as Goodwin has the ability to be, his role on the team is greater than just being an occasional highlight waiting to happen. He’s a leader, a positive role model to his younger teammates and one of the hardest workers on the team.

“He’s one of those guys that I look up to and look to learn from,” wide receiver Jaxon Shipley said. “Just to have an older guy to look up to and just know that ‘I want to practice like this guy, I want to play like this guy’ is very good for us.”

When you consider all that Goodwin has on his schedule it’s incredible to hear from his fellow wideouts about his work ethic. Not only does Goodwin deal with the daily grind of being a football player at one of the most prestigious programs in the country, but he also carves out time to be an international track star.

Goodwin is a two-time US outdoor world champion in the long jump, a four-time NCAA All-American and was able to represent the U.S. this summer in the Olympics. Goodwin, the U.S. trials champion in the long jump, finished a disappointing 10th in London last month, but he was upbeat when looking back on the situation, considering himself lucky to just have had the experience.

“[It taught me] perseverance and fighting,” Goodwin said. “I got to experience international competition, which is something most American football players don’t get to do.”

With Goodwin’s schedule it would be easy to understand if he overlooked the “student” in his student-athlete, but Goodwin also excels in the classroom. He’s a two-time All-Big 12 Honor roll selection and a four-time member of UT’s Athletics Director’s Honor Roll.

“[An] amazing guy,” head coach Mack Brown said. “Never made [less than] an A or B. He is a guy that could be headed to New York for the National Scholarship Hall of Fame. He’s that type of student with his success. He’s really a breath of fresh air for us.”