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Tracking the Stars of the Future

Football Recruiting Report
April 30, 2009

By Sammy Batten

ECU taps Magazu family football dynasty

Charlotte Providence co-captain Damon Magazu to carry on the family trade in Purple & Gold

By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.

Family and football go hand in hand with the Magazu family of Charlotte.

Father, Dave, spent more than 20 years coaching on the college level and will enter his seventh year with the NFL's Carolina Panthers next season. Dave is currently the Panthers offensive line coach.

The family's oldest son, Anthony, is a junior quarterback at Kent State. The next-oldest, Dominick, originally signed with Boston College but wound up playing as a freshman wide out last year at Appalachian State.

The football connection has continued with the middle child, Damon, who has already been a starter for two seasons on the varsity at Charlotte's Providence High School. Damon Magazu showed enough skills as a versatile safety-kick returner that the East Carolina Pirates offered him a scholarship.

Magazu accepted while visiting Greenville during the weekend of the Pirates spring scrimmage on April 18.

“My brother Dominick was with me on my visit to East Carolina,'' Magazu said. “I was texting my Dad the whole day. I had told my Dad I was really thinking about committing after the (spring) game. But he told me just to wait, get back home into my routine and then see how I felt about it.

“As we were texting back and forth that day, my dad asked me again if I was thinking about committing. I told him, 'Yes, I'd commit in a heartbeat, if you'd let me.' He called me later and said, 'It's your decision and I trust you. So I guess you can go ahead and commit.' ''

Appalachian State, Colorado State, Duke, Elon, N.C. State, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech had also been showing interest in Magazu, but the Pirates were the first to extend a scholarship offer.

A 5-foot-11, 170-pounder, Magazu played with the junior varsity squad at Providence as a freshman, but earned a starting job on the varsity the next season at safety. Twice he's earned Southwestern 4-A Conference honors and as a junior he produced 11 interceptions, including four in one game against Myers Park.

Magazu will serve as one of the Providence team captains in 2009 as a senior, according to head coach Randy Long.

“He's a great leader, and he's just a great football player,'' Long said. “We use him all over the place. We play him at two or three different positions on offense, mainly wide receiver, running back. Then he plays safety on defense and he returns kicks for us.''

It was on a punt return two seasons ago that Long realized he had another potential college prospect from the Magazu family on his hands.

“We were playing South Meck and we were down late in the game,'' Long said. “Well, Damon caught a punt and went 60 yards for a touchdown. We got the ball back and ended up scoring again to win the ballgame. His big punt return was the difference.

“He's just a winner. He hates to lose, and that's sort of a family thing. They're very competitive people who work really hard.''

Magazu, who also has a younger brother and sister, said growing up in a large family fostered competition.

“I had to compete for everything, from food at the dinner table, to playing basketball or football outside,'' Magazu said. “I think that's one of the advantages of coming from a big family.

“It's definitely been helpful that my father is in the football business because we've always been allowed in the locker rooms after games where the players are asking us how we did on Friday night. We've gotten to question them on certain things and how they'd play it. Plus, my Dad will sometimes evaluate after our games. He corrects us and helps us out. Football has just always brought us together.''

Magazu, who averaged 13 points and 6 assists for the Providence basketball team last winter, has been recruited to play safety by the Pirates. He is the first, and perhaps last player ECU is expected to recruit at that position for the Class of 2010.

“(Defensive back) Coach (Rick) Smith said that they were going to take only one safety in my class,'' Magazu said. “But either way, I'm a competitor. I don't really like anything given to me.

“I would say I'm a solid tackler, and I have a natural instinct to get to the ball. I compare myself to (Pittsburgh Steelers) Troy Polamalu. He's not the biggest or fastest, but he has a knack for being around the football.''

Magazu joins Tallahassee, FL, offensive lineman Drew Gentry as the first two members of ECU's recruiting Class of 2010.

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04/30/2009 03:32:01 AM


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