Magee emerging as leader on Temple’s defense

Sophomore, linebacker Jordan Magee leads the team in tackles and was named a team captain.

Jordan Magee received offers to play quarterback at Indiana University.| ERIKA MONN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

During the summer prior to Jordan Magee’s junior year at Dover High School in Dover, Delaware, the redshirt-sophomore linebacker tore his meniscus in offseason workouts and was unsure of what his playing status would be going forward. 

“That injury put a lot of stress on me,” Magee said. “Thinking back on it now, I feel like it taught me a lot about resilience and how everytime that I get knocked down, to just get back up and just fight with my brothers.”

Magee established himself as a leader on the Owls’ defense, tied for the team lead in tackles with 45, and tied for third on the team in sacks with three. Magee has demonstrated exemplary leadership both on and off the field and was named a single digit recipient by head coach Stan Drayton prior to the season.

The resilience he learned while rehabbing his torn meniscus helped him climb the depth chart under Drayton and first year defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot.

Magee began last season as a member of the second team defense under former head coach Rod Carey. He did not start a game until week four against Wagner College on Sept. 25, 2021. 

Entering this season, Magee knew he had to prove to Drayton and Eliot that he was a player who could make a difference on a defense that was searching for an identity, Magee said. 

“I think I have adjusted pretty well to coach Drayton and his new staff,” Magee said. “I just knew that I had to do my job and my teammates have to do their jobs as well.”

While at Dover, Magee competed on both sides of the ball, playing both linebacker and safety on defense as well as quarterback on offense. During his senior year, he was named to the first team All-Conference and second team All-State as a quarterback. Magee also received interest from Indiana University as a quarterback.

“He is the ultimate team player,” said former Dover High School head coach Rudy Simonetti. “He was the face of our program and he does a lot of things well including off the field by doing well in class and he was just everything that we wanted our football program to be.”

Despite his success at quarterback, Magee knew that defense gave him the best opportunity going forward and told the Hoosiers’ head recruiter that he had no interest in playing offense at the college level, he said.

Magee has also brought a calming presence to an Owls defense that ranks second in the country in sacks this season through leading by example. Eliot credits Magee with helping provide the defense with a new identity focused on attacking the quarterback.

“Our players like the attacking style scheme that we are,” Eliot said. “There are so many opportunities for people to get to the quarterback and [Magee] is one of those guys that is able to do that for us.”

Going forward, Magee hopes to continue to develop as a player and has his sights set on leading the team back to the national spotlight and being a part of an American Athletic Conference championship team at Temple.

Despite his goals and accomplishments on the football field, Magee knows he would not be in the position he is today without the time his parents made for him while growing up, he said.

“My mom and dad made a lot of sacrifices for me,” Magee said. “They would always take me places, cancel from work to take me to camps and my dad was always around and wanted me to be the best football player that I can be so glory to them.”

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