San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin was recognized nationally Wednesday morning for his breakout season while dealing with personal tragedy.
Goodwin was announced as the winner of the George Halas Award, which the Pro Football Writers of America gives to NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes the most adversity to succeed.
Goodwin and his wife, Morgan, dealt with the death of their baby boy from complications during pregnancy in October. Just hours later, Goodwin joined his teammates at Levi’s Stadium. His 83-yard touchdown reception led the 49ers to a 31-21 victory over the New York Giants. It was the 49ers’ first victory of the season.
He left the stadium immediately following the game to rejoin his wife, and later reached out to reporters via a conference call during the bye week to speak at length about his family’s ordeal.
“We do have a lot of people that are following us through our journey,” Goodwin said. “So we can maybe help people who’ve dealt with similar things that we have gone through or learn things from people who’ve been through our situation.”
In December, Goodwin’s biological father died. That week, Goodwin caught a career-high 10 passes for 114 yards in the 49ers’ 25-23 victory over the Tennessee Titans.
“It’s just been a lot, but I really didn’t let the outside negative energy affect how I play, how I approach this game or how I come to work each day,” Goodwin said. “I just kind of stayed positive and kept my mind fresh, and I relied on God to bring me through all of the situations that I’ve been through.”
Goodwin had a breakout season on the field, catching 56 passes for 962 yards and was a huge contributor to the 49ers’ season-ending five-game winning streak. He likely would have reached the 1,000-yard mark if not for a serious concussion he sustained in the season finale against the Los Angeles Rams.
Goodwin was also named the winner of the Len Eshmont Award. The honor is given annually to the 49ers player who best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous qualities of Eshmont, a former 49ers running back who died in 1957.
The 49ers rewarded Goodwin, 27, with a three year, $18.85 million contract extension in March.
Goodwin is the 50th Halas Award winner and the fifth 49ers player to win the award, joining Jimmy Johnson (1972), Joe Montana (1988 and ’94), Bryant Young (2000) and Garrison Hearst (2002).