NFL should've seen Marquise Goodwin coming

NFL should've seen Marquise Goodwin coming

Gatorade Player of the Year

NFL should've seen Marquise Goodwin coming


Back in 1985, Gatorade established an award honoring the nation's top high school student-athletes. Since then, the Gatorade Player of the Year award has recognized more than 12,500 state and national winners in 12 sports.

Gatorade Player of the Year alumni include household names like Kobe, LeBron, Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter, Candace Parker, Kerri Walsh and Abby Wambach — a distinguished group, indeed. 

This week we're catching up with Marquise Goodwin.

It should have come as no surprise that Marquise Goodwin took the NFL Scouting Combine by storm this week, running the second-fastest 40-yard dash time in combine history. After all, he was the second-fastest high school athlete — not just football player — in the country as a senior at Rowlett (Garland, Texas).

Goodwin had a wind-legal best time of 10.27 seconds in the 100-meter dash in 2009, while also topping the nation in the long jump (26 feet, 1.25 inches). He earned his second consecutive Gatorade Texas Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year award, led Rowlett to the Class 5A state title and was a finalist for the Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year honor, won by New Mexico decathlete Curtis Beach.

Football led Goodwin to the University of Texas, but he was rarely an impact player for the Longhorns. In four years, he had 120 catches for 1,364 yards (an 11.4 average) and just seven touchdowns. He had a career-low 26 catches for 340 yards and three scores as a senior.

He continued to have an impact on the track, however, winning two NCAA long jump titles and finishing 10th in the event at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Sunday, Goodwin improved his NFL draft stock immensely, clocking 4.27 seconds in the 40, second only to the 4.24 run by Chris Johnson in 2008. Scouts on the track hand-timed him as fast as 4.17 seconds. Legendarily, Bo Jackson had an unofficial 4.12 time in 1986.

Goodwin also leapt an impressive 11 feet in the broad jump, but he wasn’t able to threaten the combine record (11-5, by former Jaguars cornerback Scott Starks and former Raiders running back Justin Fargas), and he couldn’t hold off University of Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter, who had this year’s best: 11-4.

Goodwin’s big day at the combine — including a crisp performance in receiving drills — may have lifted him into the second or third round of this year’s draft. Someone is going to take a flyer on a flyer.


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