During the first game for the Texas Longhorns in 2012, against the Wyoming Cowboys, senior wide receiver Marquise Goodwin only touched the ball twice. An APB was put out for his whereabouts.
The following game, he had only two more touches against New Mexico, though he did earn Offensive MVP honors for his diligent and successful efforts as a downfield blocker.
Longhorns head coach Mack Brown was asked during the week leading up to the Ole Miss game how to get Goodwin the ball more often. Brown's sarcastic reply? "Throw him the ball more."
Simple enough, though Texas coaches surely considered handing him the ball as well after Goodwin averaged 10 yards per carry as a junior.
Where was Goodwin in the Texas offense? An easier question to answer is where he was on Friday -- in Washington with the US national track and field team that competed in the Olympics back in August.
The Longhorn Network put together a segment on the trip:
LHN - Marquise Goodwin - White House (via longhornnetwork)
Just one piece of advice there, Mr. President -- keep that thumb in when you throw your horns up. Not a bad effort though.
The trip to Washington did change up travel plans for Goodwin. He didn't practice with the team on Thursday and didn't arrive in Memphis, where the Longhorns stayed on Friday night before heading down to Oxford in the morning, until after 10 pm.
Brown was impressed after the game:
Gosh, did he look good tonight. That's what we've been trying to get out of him. And he didn't get in last night until 10:21 pm and he was supposed to get in at 5. But he's becoming an impact player for us and we've needed that.
Impactful in more than just the downfield blocking game. Which is nice, because yanno, Goodwin does kinda have world-class speed that helps him a bit when he has the ball in his hands.
Sophomore quarterback David Ash took some of the responsibility on his own shoulders for Goodwin not getting the ball in the first two games:
I haven't done a good job of getting the ball down the field to the receivers in the first couple games. And he's been blocking really hard. He might have missed a day of practice, but he's not going to lose a lot because of how hard he works.
And maybe the senior Olympian isn't in danger of losing a lot for another reason:
I feel great. I think of myself as a machine. All I need is a few hours of rest, and I'm ready to go.
Maybe he is a machine. There certainly aren't many humans that fast.
On the field at Vaught-Hemingway stadium, Goodwin was a standout -- his four touches went for 182 yards and two touchdowns, including the electrifying 69-yarder that angered that goofy homer Jarhead (no offense to the Marine Corps).
In comments after the game, Goodwin probably didn't mean it in quite this way, but the victory over the Rebels may have been more satisfying than a trip to see his president and capital:
Nothing can compare to the night we had tonight. It's one of the best nights I've experienced since being a Longhorn as far as getting the offense going and getting the respect we really needed from everybody. It was a wonderful night.
Indeed, Marquise. Most Longhorn fans, and especially those who were in Oxford, almost certainly agree.
Apparently the White House sets a high standard, too:
Nothing compares to going to the White House to meet your president. I thank God for the opportunity. I had a lot of fun, getting to meet President Obama. I got a picture with him. I tried to get him to do the Hook Em Horns.
There may be just a little dissonance there with those statements, which was noticed by those in attendance at the post-game press conference Saturday night. Asked for clarification, Goodwin was quick to call the victory over Ole Miss more important. Surely, no offense intended, Mr. President. Okay, so maybe he did mean those comments about the win in that way.
With defenses needing to use resources to stop both the running game and fellow receivers Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley, if Goodwin keeps on getting single coverage -- and the ball in the perimeter running game -- he should continue to make plays and perhaps even fulfill all that promise his flashed as a freshman and never quite capitalized upon.
Where is Goodwin in the Texas offense now? Found, apparently. Cancel that APB.