Hometown: Morgantown, WV
Record: 41-9, Bowl Record: 3-1 including two BCS wins
Marc Magro is a homegrown, Morgantown product. Following a successful career at University High School, Magro committed to playing for the Mountaineers. Following a redshirt 2003 season, he began his Mountaineer career as a special team ace. He progressively earned more playing time during the 2005 season, ultimately stepping in as a starting linebacker during the East Carolina game for an injured Jay Henry. He would go on to be a starter for Coach Casteel defense in 2006 and 2007. Magro was a steady force for the Mountaineers, making big plays and forcing critical turnovers. For his career, he would rake in 195 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, and 11 sacks. He would earn 2nd team All-Big East as a senior. He is the embodiment of a hometown hero.
Memorable Game: Magro first realized his dream of being a starting linebacker for the Mountaineers when Jay Henry went down with an injury against East Carolina in 2005. The Mountaineers came into the home contest with the Pirates of East Carolina, sporting a 3-0 record. West Virginia was still trying to settle the quarterback controversy between Adam Bednarik and Pat White as well as the running back controversy between Jason Colson and Jason Gwaltney (Steve Slaton would win the job in the Louisville game later this season). With the offense trying to find its identity, the Mountaineers would have to rely on their talented defense to win the game. The Mountaineers were able to jump out to an early 20-3 lead behind the accurate arm of Bednarik. West Virginia’s defense had done an apt job of shutting down Chris Johnson and forcing ECU to rely on James Pinkney’s arm. Jay Henry would leave the game early with an injury, bringing Marc Magro into the lineup. Magro would take advantage of the chance to shine. He would register 9 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles on the day. The Mountaineer defense stopped East Carolina at critical points late in the game to preserve a close 20-15 win over the Pirates.
Competition: This selection was a slam dunk to me. Magro was a big time player for some of the best teams in West Virginia football history. The other names to have worn this jersey do not have the same name recognition as Magro, but they were good players in their own right. Worthy mentions include: Joe Ayuso, Greg Dorn, and current player Tyler Anderson (possibly a starting OLB/DE this season).
Teaser: Tomorrow, I had to resist my temptation to go with a more current Mountaineer, to honor one of the older greats from New Jersey. This player was a great offensive lineman for the Mountaineers during the Bobby Bowden era. He also has a sweet black and white photo. So he is from New Jersey and his photo is in black and white, I guess you know where I am going to go with this. At this point I’m just seeing how many Kevin Smith references I can throw out there before people stop reading my blog.