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Five things to know about Jordan Magee

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The Washington Commanders added depth to their linebacker corps by taking Temple's Jordan Magee with the No. 139 overall pick. Here are five things to know about the addition to the defense.

1. He was a two-way star at Dover but was set on playing defense in college.

Magee's football career could have been much different coming out of high school.

Like most NFL players, Magee was exposed to football at a young age. He first put on pads when he was 7 years old, showing exceptional athletic ability. When he got to high school, Dover head coach Rudy Simonetti wanted to use his skill set in whatever way possible. So, in addition to his duties at safety, Magee also played quarterback.

"Jordan has always been the type to be mature from the moment I met him as a sophomore," **Simonetti said via Temple News.** "That's why we made Jordan a quarterback in high school. He had an arm, and we didn't have a quarterback at the time."

Magee had some exciting moments under center for Dover. He led his team to a 9-2 record as a senior, earning Second Team all-state and First Team all-conference on top of taking Dover to a state championship appearance.

Magee had a choice when his high school career was done; he could take a scholarship from Indiana to play quarterback or stick to defense. He decided to go with the latter.

"I say defense is my side of the ball," Magee said. "I had a better chance of making it somewhere on defense, whether it was safety or linebacker. I just felt like I had a better opportunity, and I had more offers [on defense]"

2. He's willing to learn from veterans.

Magee chose an offer from Temple, and life was difficult for him to start his collegiate career. He spent most of his freshman season on the scout team, appearing in just four games before redshirting for the remainder of the year.

Fortunately, he had two future NFL pros -- Steelers linebacker Chapelle Russell and Eagles core special teamer Shaun Bradley -- to show him how to adapt.

"You're trying to adapt to things, but Shaun and Chapelle grabbed me by the hand and told me, 'This is the ropes. This is how you do things.' They gave me a lot of information based on football and life in general ... I've seen them go to work every day and give that 110 percent effort all the time. It's great to see that passed down to me."

The lessons Magee learned from Russell and Bradley paid off in time. He was one of the most productive players on the Owls' defense, leading the team in tackles in 2022 (86) and 2023 (80). He was named a Midseason Honorable Mention All-AAC selection by College Football Network and ended the year as a Second Team All-AAC selection.

Years later, Magee still leans on Russell and Bradley's mentorship.

"They're my brothers, man. It's a business at the end of the day. You're going to have coaches leave, but at the end of the day, your brothers are still going to be there. That's how we carry ourselves at Temple. It's a brotherhood culture."

Now, Magee has new people to learn from in Bobby Wagner and linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr., and he's eager to pick their brains.

"It's blessing; Bobby is a Hall of Famer, and coach Norton, he was a great one and one of the best linebacker coaches in today's game," Magee said. "Just getting knowledge from those two guys, it's gonna be a great opportunity. I've actually had Zoom meetings with coach Norton, just doing some basic install of the defense."

Check out the top photos of linebacker Jordan Magee showing off his skill set at the scouting combine.

3. He was one of the most athletic linebacker prospects in the draft.

The Commanders made a habit of drafting some of this year's most athletic prospects. They led the league in average Relative Athletic Score (RAS) with a 9.427, beating out teams like the Eagles (9.312) and Steelers (9.150). When it comes to having the athletic traits to succeed in the NFL, Magee fits the bill.

Magee was one of the most athletic linebackers in this year's draft class, tying with Kentucky's Trevin Wallace (9.31) for the third highest RAS in the position. Although he has below average height (6-foot-1) and weight (228 pounds), Magee made up for that with a 4.55 40-yard dash, a 35.5-inch vertical and a 10-foot-4 broad jump. His 40 and vertical were fifth among linebackers, while his broad jump was fourth.

Though Magee still has much to prove, he's already shown that he can hang with linebackers drafted ahead of him from an athletic standpoint. N.C. State's Payton Wilson (9.81) was the only player drafted before him with a higher RAS. The rest -- Dallas Turner, Edgerrin Cooper, Junior Colson, Trevin Wallace, Marist Liufau, Ty'Ron Hopper, Cedric Gray and Tyrice Knight -- all had a lower RAS.

4. He takes leadership seriously.

Getting a single-digit jersey number is a big deal at Temple. They're reserved for players who lead by example, both on and off the field, and the coaches only hand out a few each season.

Magee was one of the players to receive the coveted honor by the program.

"He lived it," said Temple linebackers coach Chris Woods. "There's a lot of single-digits that come out of here and don't even finish the program. He did. He took that to heart. He felt a responsibility with that single digit."

Jordan called it "a blessing" to receive a single-digit jersey after a vote by his peers. He aspired to live up to the values of being a captain -- something that appealed to the Commaders' leadership when considering whether they should draft him.

As a rookie, Magee is back at the bottom rung until he proves himself, but he feels that he can still bring some of his leadership traits to his current role.

"Just my personality, who I am as a person, who I was raised [by]," Magee said. "I feel like I'm a high character guy and just my communication skills, on and off the field, talking to my teammates, just getting to know every teammate. Every teammate is different, so you have to communicate with them in different ways."

5. He's excited to do whatever the team needs from him.

Speaking of his role, how Magee is going to influence the team is yet to be defined. He could potentially get some defensive snaps, but as a fifth-round pick, he's not going to be as relied upon as Wagner or Frankie Luvu.

Magee doesn't care what he does.

"I've been playing special teams my whole life," Magee said. "I feel like that's one of my strong suits. My ability to run down a kickoff or not really run down anymore, but be able to play in space, take on blockers for KOR. Just use my speed and my agility to make tackles and things like that. Just whatever the scheme calls for I feel like my athletic ability allows me to do that."

Magee was a highly productive run-stopper in college, recording 235 stops and 31 tackles for loss. He also showed some productivity as a pass-rusher with eight sacks in his final two seasons.

Magee feels like he can help the Commanders in both areas.

"I feel like I could play both," Magee said when asked whether he prefers to play outside or inside. "Whatever the defense calls upon that's what I feel like playing, but honestly, I feel like I could play inside or outside, Will or Mike."

No matter what he does for the Commanders in 2024, he just wants them to know one thing.

"They're getting a dog and I'm excited to get to work."

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