Arizona State linebacker Brandon Magee missed all last season for the Sun Devil with a torn Achilles tendon. He could have declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft, but chose to return for one final season. He has been a two-sport player at ASU, as he also was a member of the baseball team. He has been drafted my major league baseball teams thrice -- once by the Tampa Bay Rays, once by the Oakland Athletics and most recently by the Boston Red Sox.
On Thursday, he announced that he signed with the Red Sox to begin his professional baseball career. But that isn't stopping him from playing one last season of football with Arizona State, or even ever. His signed contract does not affect his football eligibility, so he will be roam the field on defense at Sun Devil Stadium for another season.
"I am very excited to be apart of the Boston Red Sox organization and to have them give me the opportunity to play with them," Magee said "And also stay on the football team because I am very excited about this year."
Despite the injury he suffered a year ago and despite the difficulty of training for two sports, Magee is ready. "I think he is faster and stronger and more explosive then he has ever been..." Coach Graham said, "Brandon will tell you he's in the best shape of his life."
He has not had the baseball career that he has in football. He is expected to be a very important contributor on defense. In baseball, in limited time, he hit .103. But he was drafted on potential, not for production.
And there is a good reason why he has not had the success at baseball. One is the time committed and the other is training.
"The struggle is staying healthy...going back and forth from weight lifting to playing baseball is totally opposite things," Magee said "Because you have to get buff over here and flexible over there."
He certainly isn't going to mail in the football season. He is not thinking about playing baseball in the major leagues, He also wants to play in the NFL.
"I made a decision to play with the Red Sox but my decision making is far from over," Magee said "They are still letting me pursue my football career and letting me go to the NFL, there's a lot more to come."
Should he get drafted by an NFL team, he will have an important decision to make -- or he could try both. Bo Jackson did it. Bo even called Magee to give him advice.
"We talked for about 10 minutes," said Magee, who signed with the Red Sox on Thursday. "It seemed like an hour. He talked about how hard it is to play two sports and how I should present myself out in public. And he told me that he's there for me if I need somebody to talk to. It was nice."
This young man is impressive. He already has a pro baseball career, he wants a pro football career. but that isn't us.
"Of all the things that's impressive about Brandon, being a two-sport athlete is the least impressive," head coach Todd Graham said.
That right there is pretty impressive, more impressive than if he becomes the next Bo Jackson.
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