A source close to the situation has confirmed to Orangebloods.com that Marquise Goodwin will redshirt in football in 2011 to pursue the world championships in track (in South Korea in late August and early September).
Goodwin started 7 games last season and two games in 2009. He caught 31 passes for 324 yards and 1 touchdown in 2010 after catching 30 passes for 279 yards and 1 TD in 2009.
His performance in 2010 didn't seem to take the step forward many thought it would. Hard to say if this was the result of all the turbulence going on with the offense last season or if Goodwin was worn down from doing both track and football.
Obviously, his absence from football creates an opening for players like DeSean Hales, Jaxon Shipley and Chris Jones, among others.
Goodwin has always wanted to pursue his dream of a gold medal for the United States in the long jump in 2012 in London. So this may not be the end of the delays in his football career.
This is a great opportunity for Goodwin, who is a world-class athlete in track. Best of luck to him in the world championships this fall as the first-place finisher in the long jump (27-4) at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships last month.
Texas made it official shortly after OB's report with a press release.
"I can't say thanks enough for the incredible support from Coach (Mack) Brown, the whole staff and my teammates in this decision," Goodwin said. "To compete in the World Championships and Olympics are dreams of mine, and I'm going to do everything I can to represent them while I'm competing for our country with Team USA.
"I'm still going to be around football as much as possible supporting them every step of the way next season and will be ready to go with two years left when I fully return. Until then, I'm looking forward to having a great year with Coach (Bubba) Thornton and my track and field teammates as I try to fulfill my dreams of bringing home gold to the United States and everyone at Texas."
Goodwin won the 2011 U.S. Outdoor Track and Field long jump national title on Saturday to earn a spot on Team USA at the 2011 IAAF World Championships held in Daegu, Korea, August 27-Sept. 4. He will also focus on qualifying for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, which will be held in London from July 27-August 12 with the long jump beginning August 3.
"We are so proud of Marquise," said Texas football head coach Mack Brown. "What an unbelievable accomplishment to be the U.S. long jump champion and earn a spot in the World Championships, especially at such a young age. Obviously he has established himself as one of the premier long jumpers not only in America, but the World.
"With the World Championships coming up and the Olympics next August, his focus needs to be on track and field. We've talked to him about it, and the plan is that he'll redshirt in football this fall, remain on football scholarship and put all of his attention on track and field for the next year.
"His goal is to go for the gold in Daegu this summer, have a great season for Bubba next spring and then work toward the Olympics in 2012. We're in full support of that and really looking forward to watching him chase his dreams. When he gets back to football full-time, he'll have two years of eligibility remaining to help us compete for more championships."
In two seasons in the long jump with the track and field team, Goodwin won the 2010 Outdoor NCAA Title and three-straight Big 12 Crowns (two outdoor, one indoor). In addition, he is a seven-time All-Big 12 honoree and holds the Texas school record for the indoor long jump. Prior to Texas, Goodwin was a two-time World Junior Champion after winning the long jump and running a leg of USA's 4x100m relay in 2008.
"I understand how important every component is in collegiate athletics," said Texas track and field head coach Bubba Thornton. "For Mack [Brown] to allow one of his key players to live this dream and represent his country, the state of Texas, The University of Texas, the football program and the track and field program, shows our total commitment to all the student-athletes at Texas.
"We are so proud of everything Marquise is accomplishing and look forward to getting him ready for the World Championships. He is a special kid, but the fact that Mack and the football program care so much about him and his future, to let him focus on track and field, is a tribute to their unselfishness and love for Marquise and this university."
In football, Goodwin has played in 23 games, including nine starts, during his career and has 61 receptions for 603 yards (9.9 ypc) and two TDs. He also has 11 rushes for 45 yards, 20 kickoff returns for 411 yards (20.5 ypr) and one TD, and one punt return for 22 yards for a total of 1,461 all-purpose yards.
As a sophomore in 2010, Goodwin appeared in 11 games, including seven starts, and caught 31 passes for 324 yards (10.5 ypc) and one TD. He also rushed nine times for 37 yards and returned four kickoffs for 62 yards. In 2009, he played in all 14 games as a true freshman, starting two and posting 30 receptions (No. 3 on UT's freshman single-season list) for 279 yards and a TD, while returning 16 kickoffs for 349 yards (21.8 ypr) and a TD.