Imagine if Marquise Goodwin hadn't come back to football.
Remember, he wasn't supposed to be on the team this year. He asked coach Mack Brown if he could redshirt this season to focus on track and the world championships and the 2012 Olympics. Brown didn't hesitate one bit and granted Goodwin his wish.
A world-class athlete, Goodwin represented Team USA at the 2011 World Championships in Seoul. He missed the long jump finals by 1 centimeter. After that, he started to miss football.
On his way back from South Korea, Goodwin received texts and tweets from teammates sending football updates from the Rice game. That's when he decided he wanted to play again.
Brown welcomed him back with open arms. But since he didn't go through spring drills and summer and fall practices, Goodwin was confused much of the time of where to line up in Bryan Harsin's new offense.
But in the Holiday Bowl, Goodwin played an integral role. The receiver caught a 47-yard touchdown pass and exploded for a 37-yard run later on to set up a Texas touchdown. There was also a 95-yard ball he caught that would have been another touchdown, but he stepped out of bounds.
"What he's done this year is unbelievable," Brown said. "He didn't go through spring, wasn't here for summer workouts, wasn't in a position meeting, he didn't go through two-a-days, so to come back and show his passion for playing after the long jump in the world games has been unbelievable."
He also provided an outlet for the shaky quarterbacks.
"I think he saved us," Brown said. "Each week he's gotten better and better and he can change a game like he did tonight with his speed."
Goodwin finished this season third in receptions (33 catches for 421 yards) and fifth in rushing (22 attempts for 220 yards) and added two touchdowns.
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