Nov. 2, 2012
By Adam K. Moussa
On the football field, linebacker Curt Maggitt uses his instincts, discipline and determination to target and take down opposing ball carriers.
Interestingly enough, the 6-foot-3, 240-pound sophomore relies on a similar set of skills to get his mind off of the gridiron, and pursue a lifelong passion for the outdoors.
"Outside of football, my main hobby is hunting wild hog and deer," said Maggitt. "When life gets super stressful, that's my escape. But, I also think that there are a lot of parallels between hunting and playing ball. In both, you have to be willing to wait, anticipate moves and take advantage of opportunity when it comes around."
And while the West Palm Beach, Fla., product's primary pastime requires a tremendous amount of patience, Maggitt's approach to pigskin has proven to operate at a much faster pace.
"Curt came in last year and made an immediate impact on the team," said Maggitt's roommate, friend and fellow linebacker AJ Johnson. "He's a ferocious hitter who plays very fast and has a knack for finding the football. Curt is a great guy to be around, and he and I constantly push ourselves to be the best that we can be."
Last year, the dreadlocked duo of Johnson and Maggitt fueled each another to becoming the first true freshmen to start at linebacker in Tennessee's storied history.
"During our time here, we have really become brothers," Maggitt said of his relationship with Johnson. "When we came in together as freshmen, we said that we wanted to become two of the best linebackers in school history. We got out to a pretty good start last year, but we know that we still have a long way to go to accomplish that goal."
Throughout his first season on Rocky Top, Maggitt made appearances in 11 of UT's 12 outings, accounting for 56 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble, marks that earned the middle linebacker SEC All-Freshman accolades and Phil Steele Freshman All-America honors.
This season as a sophomore, Maggitt has followed up his award-winning rookie campaign by accumulating over 21 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and two forced fumbles, all while battling nagging foot and shoulder injuries.
"Curt's played the whole season banged up. But, he's a true competitor, so regardless of the bumps and bruises, he's going to go out there and give it his all," said Johnson. "Whether it's on the football field or shooting shotguns, Curt wants to be the best at whatever he does. When he sets his mind to accomplish something, he doesn't make any excuses or let anything stand in his way; he just goes and gets it."
"When we came to The Hill together, we said that we wanted to leave as two of the best linebackers in Tennessee history, and he's had to overcome a lot in pursuit of that goal. But, I think that if he stays on the path that he's on right now, he'll have a pretty legit shot at it."