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Former Michigan, Rice, NFL and CFL football player Sam McGuffie is working out at the Tiger Academy in Columbus, Ohio. The Texas native rose to fame via his high school highlight tape, which revealed his knack for hurdling would-be tacklers.

McGuffie started his college football career at Michigan before transferring to Rice, playing halfback and running track at both schools and eventually becoming a wide receiver with the Owls. He went undrafted in 2013 but bounced around the NFL for a spell, spending time in training camp or on the practice squads of Oakland, Arizona and New England. He appeared in two preseason games, never logging a reception.

McGuffie then spent a season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL, never seeing the field. And last fall he was named as part of the U.S. Bobsled team. Now he's apparently trying to make a run at the Olympics via rugby.

Tiger has been a magnet for multiple athletes like McGuffie, who had notable careers in other sports. Maurice Clarett, for example, flirted with an Olympic run, but nothing came to fruition. Tiger was a springboard for Perry Baker, who leads the 7s team in tries this season, though he arrived with a background in rugby. 

At 26, McGuffie is young enough to perhaps make a real go of it with commitment, and he's certainly got the baseline athleticism. However, it would appear way too late in the game for a realistic shot at the Rio Games this summer, and one has to wonder if McGuffie has the patience to stick it out through 2020. 


He could be a valuable player over the next 4-8 years. Hey him playing 7s with Tiger, maybe into PRO Rugby next season, and eventually into the 7s residency program. I imagine a few guys are going to call it quits on their 7s careers to take offers in abroad after Rio, so there may be some spots opening up. It's good to see more top end athletes giving Rugby a chance. Now to just get them playing as a youth so that when football doesn't pan out they have a technical working knowledge of rugby.