“I always smile. I’m alive,” said Brandon Magee who addressed the media during today’s practice. “I’ll be back. People go to war and lose legs, some people never walk again. I’m just grateful and blessed that I can play again.”
The linebacker did confess that he is still disappointed over his setback nine days ago, but he refuses to let that sentiment consume him on a daily basis.
“I live my life to the fullest every day, man,” Magee remarked. “I’ll be telling jokes now. I’ve been trying them on everybody, even if I’m on a (medical) scooter.”
A torn Achilles is notorious for being a non-contact injury and sure enough Magee did go down while dropping into coverage. He said that the pop he felt in the lower back part back of his foot was equivalent to someone delivering a powerful kick to that region.
“Right when it happened I knew I was out for the season,” Magee recalled. “Your body just knows. So, I was like, ‘yeah, I’m done.’ So I just cried. The doctor said ‘I’m not going to take it easy on you, it’s going to be bad.’ I was like, ‘aww.’ That makes my day, you know?
“My mother was there and I was happy that she was there because I would have lost my mind. I was just crying a lot.”
Head coach Dennis Erickson stated a few days ago that he expected Magee to redshirt this year (the linebacker never sat out a season since arriving at ASU) and join the team for the 2012 season. Magee did confirm those plans.
“I’ve been in the weight room getting my upper body tight so I can come back like Ray Lewis out here," Magee quipped.
Magee was also a member of the Sun devil baseball team and while he rarely played for the maroon and gold he was selected two months ago by the Oakland Athletics in the 21st round of the MLB draft. The linebacker said that he was ready to pursue a professional baseball career following his senior season with ASU football. The injury did occur two days before the deadline for draftees to sign a pro contract.
“It was going to look like a two-sport contract, but then that (the injury) happened,” Magee commented. “They (Oakland) sent me a text message saying ‘I hope you get better soon,’ but after that, that’s about it. So, of course I didn’t sign.”
Magee did contemplate signing a contract with the A’s prior to fall camp and forgoing his ASU football career, but admitted that he couldn’t bring himself to go through with that decision.
“I came back for the team,” he said. “I wouldn’t be able to live with myself just to leave and not be able to play. So, I’m happy I came back.”
However, if he did want to continue and play baseball for the Sun Devils there is just one minor issue to resolve.
“I’m just trying to get on the roster,” Magee stated. “I’m not trying to start no beef or nothing but (my name) is not on the roster. It’s visible. I looked it up yesterday and No. 15 was (given to) to a freshman guy. So, I don’t know if I’m playing ever again.”
“Let’s try to get me on the roster first and I’ll be like, ‘yep, I’m playing for sure.’ But I couldn’t tell you.”
Looking forward, Magee who underwent surgery a week ago today will be in a boot until next week. He said he looks forward to removing it and replace his baths with showering.
“That’s going to feel great,” Magee said. “And then I start walking on it every now and then. After that I start doing rehab. They said the injury is about six months (of rehab), but I’m different than other people. So I think it will be like four (months), you know? I’m hoping it will be four. I train hard and have high hopes.”
Magee remarked that he had never suffered an injury of this severity, and that his teammates Omar Bolden and T.J. Simpson, who are dealing with their own lengthy rehab process due to their torn ACL’s will always be there to encourage him.
The senior can certainly lean on his fellow linebackers and close high school friends Vontaze Burfict and Shelly Lyons for support. Magee confessed that he tries not to think too much of the missed opportunity to join all his former Corona Centennial teammates and play one last season for ASU.
Then again, in typical Brandon Magee fashion, the linebacker won’t let despair take over and has vowed to help all his linebacker teammates any way he can, much like Bolden has done in fall camp for the cornerbacks.
“I try to go to the film room at 1 (p.m.),” Magee described. “I watch film with Anthony (Jones), Carl (Bradford) and Izzy (Isreal Marshall). I teach them what I know and how I got better. That’s all I do.”
Magee is cognizant of the fact that the linebacker corps would be somewhat depleted following the 2011 campaign and that his return next year could bolster a group that will be short on experience.
Having said that, Magee doesn’t believe that his absence this season will have a severe impact on the Sun Devils like some college football pundits are already predicting. In fact, just days after his surgery the linebacker tweeted out that he believed that the Sun Devils could still be crowned Pac-12 champions at the end of this year.
“Without a doubt,” Magee affirmed. “I saw some of the (articles) that said we’re not going to win anymore and stuff like that, but, man we have so much depth here it is going to be great. I believe in our team 100 percent.”
Magee’s trademark positive thinking could certainly be put to the test if he ever tried to convince Burfict to stay for his senior campaign and undoubtedly forgo a first round selection in the 2012 NFL draft.
“Whatever the best opportunity for Vontaze I’m just going to support him, truthfully,” Magee said. “I’m not going to tell him to do anything. It is his life. I wish the best for him.
“One of us has got to make it. So, if he’s the first one to do it I will be the one celebrating with him.”