Maika Polamalu Works Until Perfection

Football players are often labeled for certain positions when they are young. Organized football starts at an early age in many locations, and athletes who start playing one position often end up learning that position at the expense of positions better suited for them. Maika Polamalu has played several positions, but he will be a college safety.

Maika Polamalu is a rapidly developing prospect from Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, right outside Philadelphia. He has a famous name, NFL safety Troy Polamalu being Maika's dad's nephew. He wants to make his own name, but first he must find his best position.

"When I was little I started off as a lineman, and then later I moved to corner. Right now I'm getting more inside back where I was, so I can get more physical now.

"During the season, I had a rough time because they put me in a three point stance coming off the edge. And I went from there to playing man to man on the edge. So it was a lot of responsibility, a lot to remember.

"I didn't do as well as I was hoping to last season, so I'm working real hard to get real physical and do better next year."

The 5'-11", 190 pounder played linebacker for his 7 on 7 team at the Badger Sport/New Level Athletics camp in Ann Arbor in late March. His team, comprised of players from the Philadelphia area, traveled 9 + hours by bus to reach the camp, but any chance to work on skills was worth it to him. However, linebacker will not be his college position.

"I'm mostly a safety. I've been training more as a safety. I try to work on my hips, but I'm not quite there for a corner. I can be a little more physical at a safety position. Right now, I prefer outside linebacker to safety."

What coach wouldn't want a player with Polamalu's attributes?

"Probably my work ethic is my best attribute because if I find something that needs fixing, I don't stop until I fix it. If I don't stop until I'm perfect, obviously I'll be working for a long time. Another part of my game I take great pride in is my physicality. It's the style of my game I'm turning into."

Polamalu is also a brilliant student.

"I take pride in my education. I only need 1.2 credits to graduate high school, so next year I'll be going to a community college to upgrade my education since I'll be past the high school level.

"I'm planning on going to college second semester if a school is willing enough to give me a scholarship early enough for me to enroll."

Illinois has made contact with Polamalu. He has scholarship offers from Penn State, Villanova and Temple. A number of additional schools are sniffing around.

"Rutgers and Pitt are some of the other schools in touch with me. I got a tour of Michigan, and I've talked to USC and UCLA on the West coast."

Polamalu has been working hard to make himself into the ideal football player, so thoughts on recruiting have had to wait.

"I haven't really started the recruiting process. I'm just working on improving right now."

With his work ethic and innate talent, it is only a matter of time before Polamalu self-actualizes into a major college safety.


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