Sam McGuffie: Wounded Warrior

The Wolverine injury bug has infected not only Michigan's top offensive stars QB Chad Henne and RB Mike Hart, it has even spread southward to Texas where it has hit top running back commitment Sam McGuffie -- not just with one injury, McGuffie tells GoBlueWolverine, but two.

Those who watched the Cy-Fair vs. Cy-Falls game on ESPN2 last Thursday night saw Michigan running back commitment Sam McGuffie lumbering with difficulty but still gaining 163 yards in a losing effort. The spectacularly athletic McGuffie that Michigan fans had seen on his junior film was not in evidence.

During the game, McGuffie's parents were interviewed, and Sam's dad said Sam's ankle, injured in the first game of the season, was still bothering him. Speculation was that the injury was a high ankle sprain -- but Sam set the record straight with GBW:

"I don't have a high ankle sprain. A bone is chipped in the ankle and there is some tearing as well. It started in practice, then I hurt it in our first game, and I keep re-injuring it."

"It doesn't need surgery, I've just been told to rest it for 6 weeks ... but I can't sit out and let my team down. I rested it for 3 weeks, that's all the time I had before districts started."

The ankle isn't the only injury McGuffie is laboring under:

"In the Langham Creek game (the week before the Cy-Falls game) I separated my right shoulder. It's the top part of the shoulder where the bone meets the top of the arm where there's a separation. In order to play, I have to hold my arm stiff to my side ... and I also have to turn my back into the defender when I'm about to get hit -- I have to turn my right shoulder away from the hit, especially near the line of scrimmage if I'm about to get by a lineman or linebacker. And my blocking is really, really bad because of the shoulder -- I can't hit anyone, I just have to fall in front of the guy."

McGuffie is determined to see his season through:

"My coach wants me to sit out until I'm healed, and my parents do too ... but I'm one of our team's senior leaders and I can't let my team down. They need me out there. I want to be known as a tough player, someone who can play with pain."

"We have three district games left and we have to win them all to make the playoffs. So I'm going to stay out there. The team is still better off with me playing -- they depend on me."

Sam is aware that playing hurt is hurting his "status" as a top high school player:

"I understand those people that are questioning what I can do -- after watching the film of the Cy-Falls game I really don't blame them."

"I'm just playing without a right arm and on one leg out there. I can't really cut or make any of my moves."

"I can't even work out, which really bothers me. I had myself in great shape by the end of the summer, but I haven't been able to work out in weeks now."

We asked Sam about his mom's comment in the Cy-Falls game interview that Sam started off as a gymnast:

"Yeah, I was a junior olympian as a gymnast. My events were the floor exercise and the rings. That was several years ago now, but that's what gave me my start in being athletic and in getting strong."

"But all the things I've been able to do on the football field - I'm just not able to do them now."

Even if Cy-Fair's season ends with McGuffie's injuries still hampering him, there is still one more chance to Michigan fans to watch him make an impact on National TV:

"I'm looking forward to the Army Game -- I should be healed by then and I want to show Michigan fans what I'm really capable of."

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