January 6, 2012

Magnuson ready for a versatile role in Army All-American Bowl

His entire high school career, Carlsbad (Calif.) La Costa Canyon offensive lineman Erik Magnuson has locked down a spot at left tackle along the offensive line. One look at the kid, and it's easy to see why. His 6-6, 275-pound frame is ideal for protecting the quarterback's blind side, and he expects to continue playing tackle during his college career. At this week's practices for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, however, he's experienced some new positions on the OL.

On top of a new position (or four), Magnuson is also seeing an increase in the level of competition. In practice and in the game, every defensive lineman he'll face is also an All-American. That required even more adjusting.

One of the players he's faced in practices is a future teammate, Kansas City (Mo.) Park Hill defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins. Although Pipkins has been one of the most impressive players in West practices, Magnuson has held his own. When the practice ends, the two are back to being friends. Three other future Wolverines (West linebackers Royce Jenkins-Stone and James Ross and East offensive lineman Kyle Kalis) are also participating in the game, and have used the experience as a bonding opportunity.

The quintet has also tried to lure some of their fellow All-America selections to become Wolverines, as well.

The first goal for Magnuson, however, will be winning a championship on Saturday. Magnuson's West team looks to earn bragging rights over the East, live on NBC at 1 p.m. EST.

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