ASU LB Brandon Magee returns from 'lowest point of my life'
It's been that long since Brandon Magee put on the pads, suited up and practiced with ASU. But there he was the first week of spring football, his familiar number-8 uniform darting around the field from one drill to the next, offering encouragement to teammates.
"I just feel so blessed and happy for the opportunity," he said.
The 5-11, 230-pound senior linebacker missed all of 2011 after rupturing his Achilles tendon during a scrimmage in August.
"It was hard to sleep at night," he explained of having to sit and watch last season. "Last time [on the field] I was on the floor. My helmet was on the floor" referring back to when the injury occurred. "That was the lowest point of my life.
"You work hard everyday and do all the rehab to get [back]. It's just great. I'm happy to be around my team."
Magee said the knee has held up well, though he admitted to feeling "a little burn" if he runs too much. "Honestly, I thought I was going to struggle a little bit with my movements, especially with [individual drills] but I was moving. I was quick on my feet."
After appearing in all 12 games (11 starts) in 2010 -- ranking second in tackles, Magee is expected to provide a big boost to a position that lost Oliver Aaron, Vontaze Burfict, Shelly Lyons and Colin Parker from last season.
However, Magee has yet to truly test the knee. Right now he's limited to individual work.
"There's no way I could hit a guy that weighs 300 pounds," he stated. "You've seen (offensive lineman) Brice Schwab? That boy is big (6-7, 303-pounds). I'm not hitting him right now. I've got to be 100-percent."
Magee gets checked weekly, every Monday, seeing the doctor. He estimates he's got 80-percent flexibility in the knee.
"It's almost there. I'm telling you, I'm going to surprise you when I get back on this field. You're going to be like, 'He got hurt? He doesn't look like he got hurt.'"
And once he gets cleared for team activity he promises, "You're about to see a show."
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