TOLEDO -- "Tyson Magee is a dynamic athlete, a smart kid and a student of the game," said Cumberland football coach Lucas Watkins of the 6-3, 200 pound wide receiver/defensive back, who signed his National Letter of Intent Wednesay.
"It (plyaing college football) has always been a dream of mine and it feels good to finally accomplish it," said Magee, who is to be a wide receiver for the Greyhounds.
Indianapolis is a school of 7,200 that competes in the Division II level and is in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The Greyhouds are coming off their first undefeated regular season in 64 years. Indianapolis was the No. 6 team in the National rankings before falling to No. 7 Harding University in the playoffs.
"I visited Quincy, McKendree, Illinois State, Olivet Nazarene and UIndy," said Magee. "I love the location of UIndy. It is four minutes from downtown. It is full of opportunities for the field that I am looking to study which is exersice science and then eventually go to med school and become a physicians assistant. They have a brand new medical facility that they just build. I talked to some teachers and it just seems like the place where I want to continue playing sports and getting my degree. It felt like home."
Magee is a preferred walk on and is one of 41 in the 2018 signing class, including three other wide receivers. Another recruit is Normal's Landry Mavnugu, who is coached by former area coach Gerald Temples' son Wes. A total of 14 wide recievers are on the spring football roster.
"Since I have been coaching here he is probalby the best wide reciever I have seen, " said Watkins. "he has broken all of the records here. He has had a very, very positive career and it is nice to see that he can continue it going to UIndy."
Magee, a member of the National Honor Soceity and high honor roll student, who was also a nominee for the Little Okaw Valley Confernce Scholarship award, finsihed with 99 catches for 2,130 yards and 30 touchdowns. On defense he had 183 tackles, icnluding 10 quarterback sacks and four interceptions.
"I started thinking about playing in college in fourth grade and it has always been a goal of mine to play college sports. I just didn't know if it woudl be basketball or football," said Magee, who was last year's JG-TC Player of the Year in basketball and has also been in track. "I made my decision on which sport a couple of weeks ago as it Indy just felt like home and I had to go there. I realized I could play the college level after my junior year when I put up some good stats. Coach (basketball coach Justin Roedl) told me if I waited I would have had some basketball looks, but I really didn't want to wait around. I wanted to get my deicison made so I can focus on the last couple of months o fmy senior year."
Indianapolis is coached by Bob Bartholomeo, who is a four time GLVC Caoch of the Year and is to be in his ninth year at Indy with a 82-31-1 (.724) record, including two years at Butler. The Greyhounds have won the GLVC five of the last six year and have made the playoffs four times.
"I am looking to build on that and win a National championship," siad Magee.
Magee knows college football will be different than high school.
"I tink the competition level is probalby what is going to be the biggest thing, but I am always up for a challenge," said Magee, the son of Travis and Marishia Magee. "It will push me to get even better."
Magee had 39 catches for 848 yards and 14 catches last season for the Pirates, who tied the school record for most wins in a season gonig 8-3 and won the Little Okaw Valley Confernce Southest Divison for the seond straigh season goging 5-0. Cumberland reaached the second round of the Class 1A playoff before falling to Red Hill 36-0.
"Having Magee go on to play at the college lve is great for the program," said Watkins. " It is also a testament to his hard work and desire. He has always wnat to play a the next level and now he is getting that opportunity. His overall athleteic ability to locate the football, go get the football and overall athleticim and his commentmentis what makes him such a good reeiver. He understands how to run routs and understands body postiioning when he is running routes."
As for coaches who have helped him along the way Magee said, "My dad (Travis) coahced me through JFL and high school and coach Watkins has help me out and has has helped me become a better periosn. Coach (Kevin) Maynard helped my freshman year when I went from playing tackle to receiver. I appreciate all of my JFL and high school coaches for taking timie out of their day and teaching me how to be a better person and better football player."
Magee is to report to Indianpolis in early August and is friends with Shelbyville's Turner Pullen, who is going to another GLVC school, McKendree, which is where Cumberland grads Mike and Monte Wolke are playing. Another conference team with an area player is Arcola grad Wyatt Fishel, who is at Truman State.