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Posted on Mon, Mar 8, 2010 : 10:58 a.m.

Michigan football transfers Sam McGuffie, Toney Clemons in line for playing time

By Dave Birkett

Former Michigan running back Sam McGuffie will see plenty of playing time for Rice this coming football season, Owls coach David Bailiff just isn't sure where.

"We’re going to try to get the ball in his hands," Bailiff said last week. "He’s pretty special. We’re going to play him at several different positions."


Former Michigan running back Sam McGuffie ran for 486 yards and three touchdowns as a part-time starter two years ago. He is expected to see significant playing time for Rice this season. (File photo)

McGuffie ran for 486 yards and three touchdowns as a part-time starter for Michigan two years ago, but health and family reasons necessitated a transfer closer to his Texas home.

Rice returns its top two running backs from a season ago, sophomore Charles Ross and junior Tyler Smith, but Bailiff said McGuffie will push for playing time when spring practice opens today.

Michigan begins spring practice March 16.

"You look at Sam, he can play slot, running back," Bailiff said. "He’s a very talented kid."

McGuffie sat out last year as a transfer, but Bailiff said his skills were apparent playing on Rice's scout team.

"Every now and then to keep him from going crazy we’d let him go run a play," Bailiff said. "He’s a good kid."

Another recent Michigan transfer, wide receiver Toney Clemons, should see immediate playing time at Colorado after sitting out last season.

Clemons told The Denver Post he'll be a deep threat for the Buffaloes this year, a role he couldn't envision in Michigan's offense.

"It didn't fit my abilities, what I do best," Clemons told the paper. "In (Michigan coach Rich) Rodriguez's spread, the main thing is to get the ball to scatback-type receivers with short passes in the slot. I'm a guy that likes to stretch the field. Not a lot of balls are going to go to the outside guys. I knew I had to either change and become a slot guy or get out."

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 4:41 p.m.

The Maguffie situation has been coverd.It was due to his family situation Clemons went to a school thatis going nowhere fotball wise.All he wanted to do was go deep instead of learning routes.He lacks the speed for the pros and we don't need him here, so we gladly took his schollie

Sean T.

Thu, Mar 11, 2010 : 3:21 a.m.

TXteacher, I was just making a point about the article in comparison to how other posters feel about Clemons versus McGuffie. But please share this knowledge that I know nothing about!

Man in the Mirror

Tue, Mar 9, 2010 : 7:36 p.m.

Obviously the NCAA found truth to Clemons comments. Those of you who TRUST IN ROD keep doing so to your demise. Clemons had a choice: stay with a program and coaches that were not going to get him to the next level or get out. Don't get it twisted he still has support from Michigan fans that want to see him do well in Colorado. Where is RR's class and he's an adult man? Clemons didn't violate NCAA rules so don't blame him for answering questions truthfully, unlike RR. I wish both of them well on their NEW TEAMS.


Tue, Mar 9, 2010 : 2:12 p.m.

@ Sean T.- I know the McGuffie family down here in Texas. He absolutely told the truth about why he was transferring. If you knew his family life, you would understand. It's unfortunate that people speculate on things they know nothing about.


Tue, Mar 9, 2010 : 9:25 a.m.

I'm not talking about the comments that he was quoted with here. I'm talking about the comments he made in Augest on ESPN.

Sean T.

Tue, Mar 9, 2010 : 5:31 a.m.

Wow! In my opinion, Clemons just spoke the truth about his fit in RR's scheme. He didn't blast his former coach or say anything negative about him at all. Every coach says "you are gonna love what we're gonna do with you" but it didn't happen for Toney so he bailed. It's his education and his collegiate career to be responsible for so he moved on. What makes him different than McGuffie? Do you guy's really buy that McGuffie wanted to be closer to home rather than play on one of the biggest stages in America? Or could it be that he just couldn't cut it because of the physiacl play and that he would eventually be fighting to make the 2-deep like Clemons?


Mon, Mar 8, 2010 : 8:27 p.m.

best of luck to young mcguffie. he put forth remarkable effort as a talented freshman, on a depleted squad, under difficult personal circumstances. as for "justin" clemons..., i mean toney "boren"... not so much.


Mon, Mar 8, 2010 : 5:39 p.m.

Guys-- don't forget our entire RB corps was either drunk or injured that year. I think RR would be the first to agree Sam wasn't an every-down back, but good lord, who did we have?? Also, factor in our QB play. I just hope that Sam is in a better place as far as his football and personal life are concerned. The young man had a lot on his plate when he was up here.


Mon, Mar 8, 2010 : 3:08 p.m.

McGuffie is a really good player. It's too bad things didn't work out for him here, as we could have really used him this fall. But, I think he was used in the wrong role at Michigan, especially for a true freshman. The coaches used him as an every-down back running up the middle WAY too much. Physically, he wasn't ready for that kind of pounding. Besides, I think he was better suited as an outside running guy and pass-catching back.


Mon, Mar 8, 2010 : 2:54 p.m.

Nothing Clemons said is wrong. He didn't criticize RR's character, he just said the offense didn't suit him.


Mon, Mar 8, 2010 : 2:32 p.m.

2 players I have totally different feelings about. Sam is a class act, Clemons on the other hand...


Mon, Mar 8, 2010 : 2:29 p.m.

Toney - stop blaming RR for your inability to stay in the two-deep. Also, get some class, like McGuffie.