Posted by Bryan Fischer
The talk coming into the season was that Arizona State was a Pac-12 title contender largely due to the fact that they returned so many starters in 2011. With the season fast approaching however, the talk has turned from the Sun Devils' depth to the team's lack thereof due to injuries.
It appears you can add one more name to the walking wounded as news surfaced Saturday morning that starting linebacker Brandon Magee would miss the season with a torn Achilles tendon. In addition to several backups going down with injuries, the team has already lost three starters in cornerback Omar Bolden, leading receiver T.J. Simpson and defensive end James Brooks.
"Besides being a great player he's a great leader," head coach Dennis Erickson said of Magee. "Him and Omar were our two leaders. Some other guys are going to have to step up."
The loss of Magee cannot be understated for Arizona State's defense as he was the squad's second leading tackler a year ago behind Vontaze Burfict. Defensive coordinator Craig Bray recently told The Arizona Republic that though Burfict was listed by many as the conference's preseason defensive player of the year, Magee actually out performed the star linebacker last season.
"Our best defensive player last year was Brandon Magee, and you don't hear anything about him," Bray said.
Senior Oliver Aaron was Magee's backup but he is recovering from an ankle injury suffered last week and is expected to miss three to four weeks. Carl Bradford and Collin Parker are also expected to compete for the open spot.