Busy Spring for Two-Sport Magee

Football or Baseball? Brandon Magee's answer is: Why not both? There are only four weeks of the year where official football practice and regular season baseball games overlap, and the Linebacker/Outfielder has already proven that he's more than willing to juggle both.

Following last Saturday's football scrimmage, Brandon Magee hopped into a car and drove to Los Angeles so he could participate in Arizona State's series finale at USC on Sunday afternoon.

Two days ago, practice ended about half an hour into the Sun Devils' home game versus Cal State Fullerton. Determined, Magee crossed Rural road still dressed in his football uniform and once he arrived at Packard Stadium promptly switched into his baseball gear so he could participate in the Tuesday night contest.

It was probably the first time in a long time, where the ASU football equipment staff was wondering why several hours after practice ended there were still missing one of the player's uniforms and eventually made a rare trip to Packard to retrieve Magee's attire.

Additionally, Magee was a frequent visitor to the batting cage during the football season.

"I like playing both sports," Magee said. "It's lots of fun. I just need more time; more at bats so I can be get better (at baseball). After spring ball I'll get into the swing of things more."

And what about hustling for road games or walking in his football uniform to the ballpark right after practice?

"You just gotta go man," he replied pragmatically. "We have a game and I'm part of the team. Playing or not, I'm part of the team and I love my team. My (football) teammates have already been to some of my games and said that they were going to see even more of my games later in the year, so that's nice."

Thus far, Magee has played in ten games and has two runs and two walks at nine at-bats.

In a deep linebacker group, the 5-11 226 Magee has been able to stand out with a solid combination of speed and strength. In last Saturday's scrimmage the sophomore recorded four tackles, an interception, and a fumble recovery.

Magee played in only eight games last season, due to an arm injury, and is obviously pleased that he has been able to bounce back in the spring showing no ill effects from that previous setback.

"When you play two sports you have to stay in shape," he explained. "So it was pretty easy to rehab. The arm still hurts now and then but it hasn't affected me in the baseball. It's pretty much healed."

In regards to his performance in spring practice, Magee credits his off-season preparation of watching film and "learning to play football" to his improvement over his freshman year. "There was a lot of instinct last year," Magee acknowledged, "and this year it's more knowledge and experience. Even though I still make mistakes I have a much better idea of what we're doing this year."

The linebacker from Corona (Calif.) Centennial was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 29th round of the MLB draft in June. He did contemplate forgoing his college football career at ASU, but those deliberations were ultimately short lived.

"I try to improve every game," Magee remarked concerning baseball, "listen to everything Murph (ASU head coach Pat Murphy) says. I have a great coaching staff and I know that if I do what they tell me that I'll be a better player."

To say that Magee has virtually no free time these days would be a gross understatement. Yet, he has no worries about wearing down as he puts it all in perspective.

"Free time will come in three years when I get a paycheck," Magee said with a smile. "I'll chill in my house and that will be my free time."

Will he eventually get paid as a professional football or baseball player? "We'll see how it all plays out," Magee said mischievously. "I have an idea but you'll have to wait to find out."

Another thing Magee eagerly anticipates, as does the rest of the Sun Devil nation, is the summer arrival of his fellow Centennial linebacker and five-star prospect Vontaze Burfict, which will reunite the tandem with current Sun Devil linebacker Shelly Lyons, who hails from Centennial.

"Y'all haven't seen nothing yet," Magee claimed. "I know they way he plays, I know how Shelly plays and I know how I play. The chemistry we had is gonna come back real fast. It's gonna be fun. We played together for so long and know each other so well…you'll see a lot of big hits.

"Oh my goodness…just wait for the summer time."

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