Marquise Goodwin's Olympic experience didn't turn out quite as well as he wanted. Goodwin's first jump, one that appeared to be a long one, resulted in a fault when his foot was over the line. And he never approached 27 feet, the jump he'd made to win the NCAA Championship, with his other two leaps, finishing just outside of the final eight at No. 10.
"I feel like I could have executed it better," Goodwin said. "Obviously if I hadn't had a scratch I would've done a lot better. But it happens in the sport. It is not perfect all the time. Even some of the greatest have lost on that same stage or level. You just have to face those circumstances. They are cruel, but you have to move forward.
"There is is nothing like it," Goodwin said. "Words can't even explain how it is to represent your country, having the words USA written across your chest. It is more than just yourself; you are representing your country, representing what you stand for, representing your church, your family, your friends, your school. Just everything. All the people that didn't have the same opportunity that you had. To me it meant a lot to represent [with] USA across my chest."
Now, Goodwin will go back to representing the word 'Texas' across his chest. The Longhorn wide receiver is back with the team and ready to start fall camp, at a much earlier date than he was afforded a year ago.
"It is a different transition every time," Goodwin said. "It is a different experience every year. I got something different going on every year with World Championships last year and the Olympics this year. It is different, but it is great to be back at football, great to see my teammates and coaches. I am just glad to be back out there."
And Texas is glad to have him back out there. Late in the season, Goodwin emerged as Texas's top receiver, leading Longhorn wide receivers in receiving yardage in four of the final five contests, and producing at least one play of 20-plus yards in each game. He was especially strong in the final two contests, grabbing five catches for 129 yards and a touchdown against Baylor, then catching three passes for 49 yards and a score against California in the Holiday Bowl, while also rushing for 33 yards on just two carries. In the latter contest, Goodwin produced both a rush and a reception of more than 20 yards.
"Football is a huge stress reliever," Goodwin said. "The transition, it is just great to be able to come back and not have to worry about if I would've did this or that. My mind is totally on football now. I have other things to do."
But it may be hard to convince his teammates to focus just on his football exploits, thanks to the reception he's gotten from his teammates upon returning.
"It was great," Goodwin said. "It was a real humbling experience out there in London, and then I come back here where they applaud when they see me. They all think it is so cool that I am an Olympian and they say 'I'm so cool. I got to stand next to an Olympian today.' [There is] nothing like it, and your teammates always have your back."