With the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, a number of United States Olympians are headed to compete. One of those Olympians is former Michigan running back Sam McGuffie who’s now representing his country on the men’s bobsled team.
Here are five things to know about McGuffie.
1. Sam McGuffie made an impression as a YouTube star in high school
McGuffie’s athleticism was highly touted and he came out of high school in Texas as a YouTube sensation as evidenced by these videos.
As a junior, he ran for 3,121 yards and 44 touchdowns, scoring eight times in one game. He finished his career with 83 scores on 5,847 yards.
2. Sam McGuffie only had a minor impact in his one year at Michigan
McGuffie, a 4-star recruit, only played one year with the Wolverines in 2008 and left a small legacy, one that most Michigan fans will still remember due to his high school hype
He only ran for three touchdowns and 486 yards on 110 carries including 178 yards against Notre Dame, but concussion issues limited the majority of his freshman season.
3. Sam McGuffie transferred to Rice to finish his college career
After his freshman year, McGuffie transferred to Rice to be closer to his family and home in Cypress, Texas.
“I put so much stress on myself to perform,” McGuffie told Bleacher Report’s Adam Kramer. “I didn’t really have a social life. I didn’t have anything. I had football. That was it, and it almost drove me into the ground.”
In his first year, he ran 197 times for 883 yards and six touchdowns before a tough junior season where an injury limited him to running 38 times for 158 yards and one touchdown.
Then, as a senior in 2012, he switched to wide receiver and had 54 catches for 603 yards and five touchdowns.
He also ran track at Rice, competing in the heptathlon.
At the Rice football pro day, McGuffie wowed scouts with a 4.32 40-yard dash and 26 reps of 225 pounds, among other impressive numbers in various events.
4. Sam McGuffie had a very brief NFL career
McGuffie went undrafted then signed a free agent contract with Oakland.
He was then released four months later and signed to the Arizona practice squad before the Cardinals too released him after a month.
2013 brought a chance with the Patriots but they cut him soon after as well.
He then played in the CFL with the Winnepeg Blue Bombers and mostly sat on the bench.
5. Sam McGuffie then picked up bobsledding and is now headed to the Olympics
In 2015 after the Blue Bombers released him, his Rice track coaches suggested bobsledding and after a tryout in which his speed impressed, he was named a member of the team in October of that year.
He is the breakman, responsible with stopping the sled but is also the last man in, providing speed and power at the start.
He’s also picked up rugby, but has excelled in bobsled, winning five World Cup medals since he started.
He was announced as a member of the Olympic team in January.