Making His Marc

A slew of former Mountaineers signed free agent contracts following the 2008 NFL Draft. For one homegrown talent, the opportunity to play in the pros is the product of a lifetime of hard work.

As a youngster, Marc Magro used to sit in the stands at Mountaineer Field and watch legendary WVU quarterback Marc Bulger fire passes to tight end Anthony Becht on a weekly basis. Heck, he even had an autographed picture of Becht hanging in his room.

Now, Magro has a message for Becht and Bulger: meet me in St. Louis.

Magro, who inked a free agent deal with the Rams just hours after the conclusion of the 2008 draft, is hoping to be the latest former Mountaineer to don blue and gold of a different shade.

As a senior in 2007, the University High product totaled 83 tackles while starting all 13 games for Jeff Casteel's defense. Throughout his career (both in high school and college), Magro has earned a reputation as a weight room warrior. Possessing a work ethic second to none, it certainly comes as no shock that a player of his stature finds himself with an opportunity to make an NFL roster. What did come as a surprise for Magro was that the opportunity came from the Rams.

"I don't really remember talking to them much if at all throughout the process," he told this week.

Despite the apparent lack of interest from St. Louis prior to the draft, Magro finds himself in a very good situation with the defensively-deficient Rams. Currently, their roster shows just four Sam (strongside) linebackers, including Magro. Of them, only nine-year veteran Chris Draft has more than one year of NFL experience. In addition to Magro, there are two other rookies at SLB who will participate in next week's mini-camp.

Add it all up, and Magro looks to have a very good chance of sticking around in St. Louis.

"I'm very excited," he said. "It's a great opportunity. I was speaking with my agent, and he says I will have a great opportunity to make the team. I just want to get my foot in the door and see what I can do from there."

Following the Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma, Magro spent several weeks in Florida working out in preparation for WVU's annual Pro Day, which was held on March 13 at the Caperton Indoor Practice Facility. Following Pro Day, he remained in Morgantown working out with teammate Owen Schmitt (a fifth-round selection of the Seattle Seahawks) and newly hired director of strength and conditioning Mike Joseph.

With the workouts, Pro Day, and the rest of the pre-draft process in the rear-view mirror, the draft itself was a stress-free weekend for the level-headed linebacker.

"I was just hanging around the house waiting around," he shrugged. "As I saw it before the draft, I was thinking I could get drafted in one of the last two rounds, but most likely I would be going the free agent route.

"It wasn't in my hands anymore, because I had done everything possible up until that point," he continued. "Whatever was going to happen was going to happen. That's how I approached it."

As it turned out, the approach worked out as well as it possibly could have. Magro didn't get drafted, but certainly found a very good situation via free agency. Now, he's hoping to make the most of his chance with the Rams.

"It feels good that my college career is over and now I have an opportunity to make it in the NFL," he explained. "It's a good feeling, and it's a great challenge that is out there in front of me. I'm looking forward to progressing, getting to St. Louis and making that next step."

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