Sam McGuffie was one of the first recruiting sensations in the YouTube era, known for his prolific rushing stats (he ran for 3,121 yards and 44 touchdowns as a junior at Houston’s Cypress-Fairbanks High School) and his viral-ready ability to hurdle defenders.
The McGuffie Movement never took off at the college level, though. As a star addition to Rich Rodriguez‘s first team at Michigan, he carried 118 times for 486 yards and three touchdowns as a true freshman in 2008 before transferring home to Rice. McGuffie played three seasons for the Owls, but his impact faded with each passing year, from 883 yards in 2010, to 158 in ’11, to 16 yards on five carries as a senior in 2012.
McGuffie’s football career ended there, but his athletic career did not.
He tried out for American Ninja Warrior — on NBC! — in 2015.
Then last year he turned his attention to bobsled. And he is quite good at it.
USA Bobsled & Skeleton announced its roster for the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics — next month on NBC! — which includes McGuffie. He will be on the push crew with pilot Codie Bascue, and also join Bascue on a two-man sled.
The US Men’s Bobsled team has collected 19 medals since 1928, including bronze medals in the four-man and two-man events in the 2014 Sochi Games, and a four-man gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
The two-man competition will be held Feb. 18-19 and the four-man event will be Feb. 24-25. This year’s games are held in PyeongChang, South Korea.
If you had told me half a decade ago Sam McGuffie would one day be an Olympian, I’d have responded, “Of course. The kid’s a natural born hurdler.”
The former Michigan and Rice running back has made an Olympic team, but not as a hurdler. No, McGuffie is trying his hand at representing gold old red, white and blue as a bobsledder.
Joining McGuffie on the U.S. National Bobsled team are former Virginia running back Hakeem Adbul-Saboor and former Oklahoma State wide receiver Nathan Gilsleider, among others.
McGuffie, you’ll recall, went viral before we even knew what going viral was as a Houston-area running back prone to hurdling fools.
He went on to a college career of mixed results. A four-star recruit, McGuffie signed with Michigan out of high school and racked up 118 carries for 486 yards and three touchdowns, making him the Wolverines’ second-leading rusher during the first year of Rich Rodriguez‘s failed tenure in Ann Arbor.
McGuffie transferred to Rice to be closer to home following the ’08 campaign and rushed for 1,057 yards over his three seasons as an Owl, mostly during his sophomore year of 2010. As a senior in 2012 he snagged 54 passes for 603 yards and five touchdowns, which was enough to earn him a cup of coffee with the Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinal and New England Patriots in the NFL, as well as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL.
McGuffie tried out for American Ninja Warrior (on NBC!), as you can see in the video below
But, it appears, McGuffie has finally found his calling – and it’s on the bobsled.