Corona, CA: Injured ASU linebacker Brandon Magee still upbeat

Injured first-team linebacker Brandon Magee has shown up at Arizona State's last few practices. Aside from the boot on his left foot, you'd never know he was out for the season.

"I'll always smile,'' said Magee, who tore his Achilles tendon during a scrimmage Aug 13. "I'm alive. I'm hurt, but I'll be back. There are people that go to war that lose legs ... so I'm just grateful that I'm blessed that I'll be able to play again."

Talking to the media for the first time since the incident, Magee said he plans on red-shirting this season. He hopes to get the boot removed next week, a relief because he can start showering instead of taking baths. Then he'll start walking and rehabilitation.

His goal: Joining his teammates for spring practice.

"That's the plan right now," Magee said. "I'll be in the weight room getting my upper body tight so I can come back looking like Ray Lewis out there."

The hardest part about all this is how it happened. It wasn't as if Magee was involved in a pile-up or nasty hit.

"Man, I just remember pass-dropping to my No. 2 receiver and then it just popped,'' he said. "I could've sworn somebody kicked me or something because that's how bad it hurt. Right when it happened, I knew I was out for the season. Your body just knows. I was like, 'Yeah, I'm done,' so i just cried.''

A few minutes later, after he was carted from the field, a team doctor confirmed the news: "She said, 'I'm not going to lie to you. It's really bad.' I'm like, 'Ahhhh, that makes my day,' but at least she told me the truth."

Magee said teammate Omar Bolden -- who could miss the entire season with an ACL tear -- has helped, sending text messages and letting Magee know he's there.

"I'm disappointed every day, but you can't live your life like that," Magee said.

Also disappointing: Knowing he won't be a part of the 6-7-8 linebacker unit. Magee went to Corona (Calif.) Centennial High with fellow linebackers Shelly Lyons and Vontaze Burfict. Before last season, Lyons and Magee changed their jersey numbers, giving them a 6 (Lyons), 7 (Burfict) 8 (Magee) look when they were on the field together.

"I try not to think about it, really, but I'm excited to watch them play," Magee said. "How can you not be?"

Getting healthy

Junior cornerback Deveron Carr has worked with the first-team defense in select drills this week, which might qualify as ASU's best news of the preseason. Carr was a projected starter before he injured his hamstring, missing nearly two weeks.

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