Q & A: Terrence Magee

Junior running back Terrence Magee tossed his hat in the ring for more touches and playing time this season after scoring two touchdowns in the opener. TSD's Ben Love caught up with Magee, who discussed his emergence, his role and the former LSU back after which Magee models his game.

Without Jeremy Hill in the backfield versus TCU, the LSU offense turned to Alfred Blue and Terrence Magee to shoulder the load at running back.

Magee had his coming-out party as a Tiger, rushing for 95 yards and two touchdowns (the second and third of his career, respectively, with the only other coming in 2011) on only 13 carries.

The junior back spoke with reporters earlier this week about his emergence, where he fits in moving forward this fall, which former LSU back he models his game after and his flirtation with the baseball team as an outfielder.

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Question: You ran the ball really well, but I'm not sure anybody's asked you about the block on Odell Beckham's kickoff return. You seem to be a guy who takes a lot of pride in special teams?

Terrence Magee: Oh, yes sir. Coach preaches that you've got to be able to play on special teams if you want to play at the next level. So I've been trying to find my way out there on any special teams that we have just to get out there and contribute.

Ben Love: Coach Frank [Wilson] usually goes with the hot hand. As a running back on the sideline, does that make you guys kind of jittery or does it put you at ease to know if I do my thing, I'm in and I'll stay in?

TM: Not really because at any given moment you've got to be ready to go. You never know when your number's going to be called. So I don't think you have the jitters on the sideline, you've just got to be patient and be ready for when your number's called because at any given moment he could say, '27, go. 14, go.' And you've got to get in there, and it doesn't stop. It's the same thing, just keep rolling.

BL: Did you have a moment like that with Coach Frank, maybe in the third quarter, where he said ‘You're playing well, we're going to lean on you a little more?'

TM: No sir. I was just ready when he told me to go in.

BL: It's hard to compare yourself to other people sometimes, but do you think you give this year's team a lot of what Spencer [Ware] gave the teams of the last few years?

TM: Yeah, I think so. Spencer was a great running back, a great physical guy. He could go out of the backfield and catch the ball. I would say I model myself after his game a little bit because we have some of the same attributes.

Q: How close were you to the Taylors (Curtis, Brandon and Jhyryn) when you were growing up in Franklinton? How well did you get to know them?

TM: We were really close. We all went to the same church. I've been knowing those guys since I was little, so every Saturday we were playing football together and on Sundays we were going to church and then playing football after church out there in the field. So we're real close.

Q: Is it safe to say they helped recruit you to LSU a little bit?

TM: Oh yeah, they played a big role to why I came here, especially Brandon. I actually remember when I got offered. He was one of the first people I called and asked ‘What should I do.' He just told me to sit down and get all of my offers and talk to my parents to decide what's best for me.

BL: Were you briefly on the baseball roster here when you first arrived on campus?

TM: Yes sir, I was.

BL: So what went into the decision not to go two sports at LSU ultimately?

TM: I actually got hurt my freshman year (during football season) and I wasn't 100 percent when baseball season came around, so I decided it was best for me to sit out and try to get healthy.

Q: So that's over?

TM: For now.

Q: You said Saturday you didn't know you were going to get the touches, that coach just left you in there when you got hot. Do you feel like now going forward you have to make every snap count with three or four guys in the rotation?

TM: No matter when you get in there, you've got to make every snap count. It's just about making the most of your opportunities when you get in there. Like Coach Frank says all the time, the backfield is etched in sand. So at any given moment a guy can get in there and be the starter or be the guy with the hot hand.

BL: I'm not trying to get you to give away secrets, but as a running back group, do you guys go into a given week knowing that Jeremy Hill is going to play that Saturday or he's not?

TM: They don't share that with us. You never know who's going to get the call. It's a game-time decision.

Q: Alfred Blue said that even though there's not a set depth chart, you guys are at least put in certain roles – Kenny Hilliard does short yardage, you and Alfred can do first-and-10 or second-and-10. What do you feel like your role is in those terms?

TM: In practice you get a feeling for who's going to do what because a certain guy gets more reps at it, but we all get reps at each one of those things. But Kenny can definitely be the short-yardage guy. He puts him in there in two-tights and stuff like that. All of us really get a lot of reps in third-down situations. Really, it's just the two-tight stuff – that's for Kenny and Jeremy because those are two big, physical guys.

BL: As a versatile back, does this year's offense maybe get you a little more excited than what it's been the last couple of years?

TM: Oh, no doubt, because before the running backs, I feel as if we weren't even an option in the passing game. Now sometimes, on certain plays, we're the first read for the quarterback. So that's very exciting for all of us back there.

Publisher's Note: Magee also said he hasn't been running any Wildcat in practice, but the Franklinton native did concede he still has "some quarterback left in him."

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