November 10, 2006

Leaping draws McGuffie more attention

It's not an urban legend. The play has been on youtube.com and every local sports show in the Greater Houston area.

Cypress Fairbanks running back Sam McGuffie did the unthinkable last weekend against rival Cypress Fairbanks. He leaped over a defensive back en route to a touchdown. This wasn't a jump over a crouched defender. This was a leap over a standing cornerback ready to make a tackle.

"It's not that big a deal," McGuffie said. "I've done it a couple times this year and it hasn't gotten this amount of attention."

The 5-10, 170-pound athlete is an enigma in the area. He has rushed for over 2,000 yards in nine games and has scored 28 touchdowns, but none was more impressive than last weekend's outing against the Cougars. He rushed for over 370 yards and scored eight touchdowns, not to mention the city's play of the year.

"I have seen a lot of high school games and I don't remember seeing anything like that," Todd Freed, KTBU Channel 55 host of High School Sports Live said. "That's our play of the year."

McGuffie leaped onto the high school scene as a sophomore when he started the last two games and led the Bobcats on a three-game playoff run. He also reached the state semifinals in the long jump last season in track. He's also been clocked in the sub 4.4-range at different camps and combines.

"I've had a lot of good running backs here," Cy Fair coach Ed Pustejovsky said. "Omar Conteh was here a few years ago and he ended up at Northwestern, a great athlete. What Sam has is the ability to make a move and get back up to full speed in one move. That is what makes him different. He's also very durable with a great work ethic.

"He runs every play in practice or walk-through to the end zone," he said.

McGuffie has been ranked No. 44 on the earliest Texas Top 100 poll and will be a big catch next season.

"If a team doesn't use him in a one-back set, he could play inside receiver or defensive back," Pustejovsky said. "He's tough, fast, a hard worker and bigger than people think."

With boxes of early mail, McGuffie is still waiting for his first early offer.

"I was invited to Texas A&M last weekend and went to the Oklahoma game, which was nice," he said. "I like Texas A&M. I like Texas Tech. I also wouldn't mind checking out Michigan because my family is from there."






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