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November 17, 2011

Magnuson ready for big stage

ARMY BOWL: All-Americans | Tour home | The Ride

With his recruitment all wrapped up, Erik Magnuson said one of the biggest reasons why he's excited to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl is to compete against some of the nation's best defensive linemen.

The Carlsbad (Calif.) La Costa Canyon four-star offensive tackle has developed a reputation as a fierce, tough, competitive player and he's looking forward to showing off his skills in San Antonio.

"It's going to be a lot of fun," Magnuson said. "I'm going to be on TV for the first time and it's going to be in front of a pretty big-sized crowd.

"It's going to be fun competing against the nation's best and I'm really looking forward to it a lot. It will be a good experience."

During a presentation at his high school on Thursday, the 6-foot-6, 275-pound prospect received his Army game jersey. The bowl is Jan. 7 in San Antonio's Alamodome.

Growing up watching the game, Magnuson said he never expected to be selected to play in such a prestigious all-star event but now he's going to make the most of it.

"It's a real big honor for me," Magnuson said. "I'm really thankful for everything and everybody who put in the time and effort for this to happen.

"Growing up I watched this game and I never really thought I'd be here but now that I'm here it's kind of crazy. It really hasn't hit me yet but it's a big honor and I'm really appreciative.

"Growing up I watched the game and I thought these guys were good. I didn't think I'd ever have this opportunity, it never really crossed my mind, but it's crazy and shocking that I get to have this opportunity."

Magnuson, rated eighth at offensive tackle and No. 44 in the 2012 class by Rivals.com, committed to Michigan in June and then took his official visit for the Wolverines' thrilling victory against Notre Dame in September.

Pretty much the entire Pac-12 along with Notre Dame, Miami, Boise State, Oklahoma and many other top programs offered Magnuson, rated sixth in the California state rankings by Rivals.com, but so many things stood out about Michigan that he couldn't pass it up.

One of the biggest reasons he picked the Wolverines was because Magnuson developed a strong relationship with coach Brady Hoke during his time at San Diego State. The offensive line tradition, the academics and the overall environment in Ann Arbor also stood out to the four-star prospect.

Magnuson said many schools continue to recruit him - and USC has been one of the most active - but he's not looking around. He's set with the Wolverines and doesn't plan to even take any other visits.

"There are a lot of West Coast schools still coming after me," Magnuson said. "USC is recruiting me a lot and some other schools but I'm not going anywhere. I'm committed to Michigan and that's where I'm going.

"That's where I wanted to go. I love Coach (Brady) Hoke and his staff and I love the atmosphere there. You can tell they love football. I went to the Notre Dame game and I had no questions after that."



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