Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin will have a valid excuse for missing the first few days of fall practice this August.
He'll be in London competing at the Olympics.
Goodwin qualified on Sunday by winning the long jump at the U.S. Olympic Trials, securing the victory with a personal-best leap of 27 feet, 4 inches on his sixth and final attempt. That broke a tie with second-place William Claye and established Goodwin as a realistic medal contender.
Only 10 long jumpers have exceeded the 27-foot threshold this year, according to the most up-to-date list from Track and Field News. England's Greg Rutherford is the only one who has a longer jump than Goodwin, leaping three-quarters of an inch farther on May 3.
"I started off pretty good and I ended even better, so it was a good day for me," Goodwin said in a University of Texas release. "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."
Goodwin has caught 30 or more passes for the Texas football team each of the past three seasons, but track and field has always been the senior-to-be's primary focus. He's now the first athlete since 1960 to win the long jump at the U.S. Olympic Trials and NCAA Outdoor Championships in the same year.
A former Texas state champion in the long jump and triple jump and world junior champ in the long jump, Goodwin has harbored dreams of making the 2012 Olympics since he began college three years ago. He even briefly took a sabbatical from football last fall to focus exclusively on track before asking Longhorns coach Mack Brown to return after the opening game of last season because he missed the sport too much.
Goodwin finished last season strong for Texas, catching eight balls in a victory over Texas A&M last November and hauling in an 80-yard touchdown pass in a loss to Baylor the following week.
Texas football fans will no doubt support Goodwin in his quest to win an Olympic medal in London. Nonetheless, They'll also surely be excited to have him back for his senior season once he returns home.