Remember the name Sam McGuffie?
Odds are good that the answer is yes. And odds are also good that it’s not immediately evident why.
Remember Sam McGuffie, the “Human Highlight Reel” who leapt to fame — literally — as a defender-hurdling running back at Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, Texas, then signed with Michigan?
Oooh yeeah. Whatever happened to him?
Well, Sam’s been on quite a journey. After totaling 178 yards and a score at Notre Dame in just the third game of his freshman year, McGuffie appeared destined for greatness in Ann Arbor, MI. But a series of concussions ended his career as a Wolverine before it ever really began.
For most, that game against the Fighting Irish is our last real memory of McGuffie in pads.
Three months later, he left Michigan for Rice. Two years after that, he rushed for 883 yards and totaled 384 receiving yards, making him one of just three players at the FBS level to top 800 rushing yards and 380 receiving yards.
Injuries spoiled his 2011 season, and in 2012 McGuffie was moved to slot receiver (where he was still awesome but still went largely unnoticed).
On his pro day, he ran a 4.32-second 40-yard dash and registered a 42-inch vertical leap — but went undrafted. The Raiders, Cardinals, and Patriots all took fliers on McGuffie over the course of the next year, but he never found his way back into game action.
After being released by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2015, McGuffie got his real estate license and moved back to Houston for a life of cubicles and gross exaggerations about the value of detached garages and walk-in pantries.
Just kidding. He became an Olympic bobsledder.
That’s right. In the fall of 2015, McGuffie joined the United States national bobsled team. And, in just a few days, he will compete for the Americans in Seoul, South Korea, as a push crewman on the four-man bobsled team and as the brakeman on the two-man bobsled piloted by Codie Bascue.
As it turns out, McGuffie’s athleticism and skill set is a perfect fit for the bobsled world.
He’s like a cheetah,” U.S. bobsled coach Brian Shimer told reporters last month. “He just steps up and is about as explosive of a guy as I’ve seen.”
What are bros for? @TeamUSA #Olympics #TeamUSA #PyeongChang2018 #nbcolympics @NBCOlympics #NBColympics #NBCSports @NBCSports @codiebascue13 @Evan_Weinstock @StevenLangton @verified @TwitterVideo @Twitter pic.twitter.com/eRFreyrSKd— Sam McGuffie (@sam_mcguffie) February 11, 2018
McGuffie took it a step further and likened the act of bobsledding with the act of running the football, which may have seemed like a reach until right about now.
“When you’re a running back, you have to explode through the hole,” he said. “That’s what I do in bobsled.”
More or less.