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One-on-One with the Pirates
, August 25, 2010

By Ron Cherubini

Q&A with Damon Magazu

By Ron Cherubini
All rights reserved.

Anyone who watched East Carolina's special teams and defense a year ago – as painful as it was at a times – had to notice that true freshman Damon Magazu stood out. It was clear early on that Magazu was a player, and by season’s end, he had earned a start and was on his way to heading into 2011 as a starter at free safety.

Magazu is a tough player who the coaches call a “high football IQ” guy. He already has the respect of his teammates and coaches and should become a stalwart in the secondary this year.

Damon was kind enough to sit down for a chat with Bonesville to share his insights on the upcoming season.

Damon Magazu (11) in action last season (ECU SID photo)

One-on-One with Damon Magazu

Q: When you picked off that pass against N.C. State a year ago, you probably etched yourself into the minds of every fan for the rest of your career here. Talk about that play and what impact it has had on your progression?

A: The play… it was just great to get a (win) over North Carolina State. They are a rival and I have a lot of respect for them and Coach (Tom) O’Brien and that staff. They are a good team and it was nice to get a win over a rival. Personally, the play really meant a lot because my team was really counting on me to step it up because Derek (Blacknall) was out with a suspension. It felt good that I did that. Also, you know, it was great because my father was at the game and he really doesn’t get a lot of chances to see me play (because of his NFL obligations), so that was special, too.

Q: Clearly, you were contributing big-time all season a year ago and so much so, the coaches could not see 2011 without you in the lineup. So, Derek was moved to corner to make room for you. Were you surprised when you came into that camp and how are you feeling now that you are the current starter in this fall camp?

A: I don’t want to say that I wasn’t surprised, but I also don’t want to say I was surprised. I try coming out for every rep competing for the starting job whether I actually have it or not. That is what I have done since my first practice here at East Carolina. Even if the coaches say I am the starter, I am still going to compete for it because if I don’t, someone will end up taking my job.

Q: The coaches rave about your football IQ. Are you a big film review guy? Talk about how you prepare for practice, games, etc.?

A: We watch a lot of film as a team and I try to get the most out of it as I can. I listen to what the coaches have to say, and going against the scout team in practice, you start to understanding the route combinations. I learn a lot off of film, but I feel like I learn a lot more being out there on the field and actually doing it hand on. When we go against the scout team, I can actually see the route combinations technically and I feel like I learn more that way.

Q: What player on this team do you most respect and why?

A: Emanuel Davis because I know that no matter (what) is going on or how he is feeling, he is going to compete. He is not scared of anything. (If) I was going into a fight, I would call ED because he would have my back and would do anything for me.

Q: What receiver on this offense would you hate to have to cover all night in a game?

A: We have a lot of great receivers here, so I wouldn’t want to have to cover any of them all night. Lance Lewis, Justin Hardy, Justin Jones… they are all going to give opponents hell. Really, I wouldn’t want to have to cover any of them in this offense… but I would do my best if I had to.

Q: What is the impact of the 3-4 on the secondary? Are you seeing things in front of you to give you confidence that the defense will be vastly improved this year?

A: The 3-4 was definitely a good choice for us with our personnel. We have Justin Dixon, Marke Powell and some other JUCO guys that came in and four D lineman that came in and I think moving to the 3-4 took care of a lot of things that we couldn’t do last year, like getting pressure on the quarterback. We have a good group of linebackers like Jeremy Grove and Kyle Tudor and some of the freshman as well. The scheme really will help us improve a lot.

E-mail Ron Cherubini

Ron Cherubini Archives

08/25/2011 03:11 AM


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