During his five years (2008-2012) at ASU, nobody ever questioned the size of linebacker Brandon Magee's heart or his desire to play the game of football.
After suffering a devastating, season-ending Achilles injury before the 2011 season, Magee worked tirelessly to get back on the field for one final shot at a professional career.
This past season, Magee's comeback was nothing short of remarkable. He was the second-best tackler in the Pac-12 (9.4 per game and a team-high of 113 for ASU), and also added 6.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss. For his tremendous efforts during the Sun Devils' 8-5 campaign, Magee was named to the second-team All-Pac-12.
But even during his swan song in maroon and gold, the injury bug found a way to end Magee's final collegiate game prematurely. During the Sun Devils' 62-48 win over Navy in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, the Corona, Calif. native suffered an elbow injury that forced him out of the contest.
For the past five weeks, Magee said he has worn an elbow brace during preparations for the NFL Combine. But just days before he'll partake in the biggest job interview of his life in Indianapolis, the 22-year-old is feeling just fine.
"I feel like I'm at the top of my game, in physical shape and my motor is running just right," Magee told Arizona Sports 620's Doug & Wolf Wednesday. "My feet are perfect right now. Coming off the injury it took me a long time to get ready, but my elbow is getting a lot better right now."
Injuries aside, Magee said he's excited to get back on the field inside Lucas Oil Stadium and believes he'll have no problems during the interview process.
When asked a sample question that he might hear from an inquiring general manager, Magee didn't hesitate to answer.
"I play the game because I love it," said Magee. "I'm a passionate guy. It shows on film. It shows when I'm playing. I love being part of a team, and I love being coached hard and going through struggles. The struggles make you better in life."
He added that getting a chance to fulfill a lifelong dream this weekend provides him yet another opportunity to prove his doubters wrong.
"People always talk about my height, they talk about my size and just try to find negatives on me," said Magee. "Regardless of what people say, I'm going to succeed. There is no way to stop me, honestly."
Magee isn't slated to participate in on-field workouts at the Combine until Monday. He will also be joined in Indianapolis by fellow Sun Devils Josh Hubner and Keelan Johnson.