Sack Master Mauga Commits to Vandals

HONORED AS A JC ALL-STAR SELECTION AND TEAM DEFENSIVE MVP, Grossmont College outside linebacker HOMER MAUGA (6-0, 220) terrorized opposing offenses for 15 sacks, 7 QB hurries, two picks, and 72 total tackles in 2009. "He didn't get Player of the Year in the league but he probably should have," said head coach Mike Jordan. "He's very good off the edge, just a good player, a great young man."

PLAYER PROFILE: Homer Mauga, 6-0, 220, LB confirmed this afternoon with Grossmont College head coach Mike Jordan that the two former Griffin standouts had verbally committed to Idaho. Linebacker Homer Mauga (6-1, 220) and monsterous offensive lineman Charles Wiley (6-6, 325) made verbal pledges to the Vandals (a story on Wiley will be following shortly). It is also believed that both will be in for spring camp at Idaho as well, but an official confirmation will be made Wednesday.

With the addition of Homer Mauga to the Western Athletic Conference, there's nothing like a little sibling rivalry to take a football rivalry to the next level. In this case, it's big brother Magnum Mauga who lines up at defensive tackle for Utah State that will help throw a little more salt the annual tilt between the Aggies and Vandals.

Homer and Magnum are just two of six Mauga brothers who put their stamp on football in Southern California (including twin Hutch, and older brothers Dallas, Rainbow, and Ben). For Homer, a cousin of NFL great Junior Seau, who was named Defensive Player of the Year for the Grossmont South League as a high school senior at Helix High School and had offers from Idaho State, Sacramento State, Portland State, and Troy out of high school, the route to Division 1A through Grossmont College paid off. While getting extensive recruiting interest this year, he ultimately made his college decision on his final visit before signing day.

So how did he get so much interest this year?

The old-fashioned way: Production on the field.

He also did what you want your defense doing - getting into the opposing offense's backfield. Statistically, his sophomore season this year was tremendous. He racked up 15.5 sacks on the season, sevem QB hurries, two interceptions, and a total of 72 tackles in 2009. For his efforts he was named Grossmont Defensive MVP, a First Team All-League selection, and was named to the Triumphant Sports National Junior College All-American Team in a game played in Chandler, Arizona.

"He played outside 'backer, more of a rush 'backer," Grossmont head coach Mike Jordan to today. "He's a really good rusher off the edge, he's got a lot of speed and has a great motor. He got a lot of sacks [this fall], and is very athletic off the edge."

Coach Jordan continued in his assessment of his star defender. "He can chase guys down from behind. He's very phenominal as far as taking on a lead blocker -- his body is always in the right position. He's a natural football player."

A two year starter for Grossmont, Mauga was a team captain this season for the Griffins. "Actually the first year he got injured partially into the season, and ended up playing just three games for us the first year. But he was definitely a starter then, and was named defensive MVP on this year's team."

Chosen to play in both All Star games. Both first team All-Conference.

And how will his performance at Grossmont translate to the FBS level? Coach Jordan didn't miss a beat. "He played against a lot of D1 type of tackles, and he can beat you one-on-one on the pass rush. When a back-type is blocking him he's going to beat that 'back usually on a pass rush. Rushing the passer is definitely his strength. But he can do a lot of things, he's pretty versatile. He can cover down field pretty well because he's very athletic -- he has great body control.

"He didn't get player of the year in the league but he probably should have. He's very, very good off the edge and just a good player, a great young man."

He's also reportedly a solid student as well, carrying a 3.7 GPA (he was already an academic qualifier out of high school) and appears ready to enroll in time for spring semester. Not bad for a gifted athlete that still has three years to play two.

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