Linebacker Nick Magiera Takes Fordham Defense by Storm

Coincidence Brings Heart of Defense to Fordham


Linebacker Nick Magiera, CBA ’11, picked up three tackles and a sack. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Published: October 2, 2008

Beginning his second year of football at Fordham University, linebacker Nick Magiera, CBA ’11, who came to the Bronx as a chance find by a Fordham recruiting scout, has quickly become a defensive force on the football field and opponents have begun to take notice.

On Sept. 8, he was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career after recording seven tackles and two sacks in the season opener against Rhode Island. As fellow linebacker Craig Stevens, FCRH ’09, explains, Magiera exhibits all the tools of a successful player.

“I think Nick is a very special player. He has such a great combination of speed and power; when he comes off the edge he is nearly impossible for opposing lineman to block,” Stevens said.

Since arriving in the Bronx last year, Magiera has steadily improved his play. As a freshman, he played as a substitute off the bench, collecting 41 tackles and three and a half sacks on a team that won the Patriot League title and qualified for the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs.

Magiera grew up in the small town of Carpentersville, Ill., which is approximately 35 miles northwest of Chicago. The passion for the game of football started for him as a youth when his parents enrolled him in a flag football league. Mike Singletary, who was a member of the 1985 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears, coached Magiera as well as Singletary’s own son.

As if by fate, Fordham came calling for Magiera. One of the veteran recruiting coaches for Fordham was on a scouting trip in the area, but mistakenly watched the wrong high school. Luckily for Magiera, the scout liked his defensive skills and Fordham offered him a scholarship. Magiera had other offers from Division I schools, but he is glad that he made the right choice to come to Fordham.

“If I went to a bigger school, I would not have gotten a chance to play this early and gain this much experience,” Mageira said.

Magiera attended Barrington High School where he was a football and track star. He was captain of the varsity track team for three years and set a high school record in the 200-meter dash. During his time at Barrington, he also won the 400m-league title and placed second in the 100m. He became the high school conference football Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 and was named to the Top 100 High School Players list.

His path to becoming a college linebacker was not a clear one. In Magiera’s freshman year of junior varsity football, he started at running back and played some defense. The next year on the varsity team, he played offense and defense. Finally, by his junior year of high school, he focused on playing linebacker.

Throughout Magiera’s football career, an essential facet of his game has been speed.

“It is an important aspect of playing linebacker because it gives you the ability to make plays. I have been working on my fundamentals and my form a lot to become faster,” Magiera said.

Magiera’s favorite defensive formation is nickel, because it allows him to utilize his speed to avoid blockers in order to make tackles or sack the quarterback.

As to his future aspirations about playing professionally in the NFL, Magiera remains optimistic. “I would love to do that. I know I would not be able to at this time. I hope in the future I will be big and fast enough to play on that level.”