Trojans and Sooners in the Lead for Maualuga

The town of Eureka is nestled among the coastal redwoods of Northern California. It's a peaceful and beautiful setting more akin to creating forest rangers than division one football players. But Eureka High School is home to one of the top linebackers in the west, if not the nation, in <b>Rey Maualuga</b>. GoBlueWolverine Magazine spoke recently with Maualuga and he likes USC and Oklahoma, but also has a fondness for things blue.

Linebacker Rey Maualuga lives in an area surrounded by some of the largest living creatures on Earth. Eureka, Calif. sits right in the middle of one of the last stands of ancient redwoods forests left in the world. The idyllic setting has not kept news of the talented player contained as some of the biggest programs in the country have already offered Maualuga. "Arizona State, San Diego State, Utah, Oklahoma, USC, LSU, Washington and Nebraska have offered," The 6 foot 2, 235 pound Maualuga said. "Right now my favorite is USC but that's only because I've been to their campus and know the coaches, things could change when I visit other schools."

Is Michigan one of those "other schools"? "I like Michigan," he said. "They always have good players and send a lot of them to the NFL." As of now there is no offer on the table from the Wolverines but Maualuga said they are in his top five and he is receiving a lot of mail from the staff.

Maualuga has lived all over the country having been born in Oklahoma and spending seven years in Hawaii. "Oklahoma is also one of my favorites," he said. "I really didn't want to move away from there when I was a kid, and the Sooners have always been on of my favorite teams."

Being in a remote part of the state hasn't kept college coaches away during the spring evaluation period. "Oregon State, Washington State, and Arizona have already been by," Maualuga said. "Oklahoma came by today and USC is supposed to come here soon."

Maualuga does have an idea of the schools he'd like to visit officially, "I'd like to go to Notre Dame, Michigan, Oklahoma, LSU and Miami," he said. "I don't really need to go to USC because I've been there a lot." If you're thinking he must make the long commute from one end of California to the other, think again. Maualuga has been in Eureka for two years. Prior to moving north he lived in Ventura and played for powerhouse St. Bonaventure. "I played with Lorenzo Booker and Terrail Lambert," he said. "I was real close to SC so I could go there a lot."

Maualuga and his teammates do travel extensively. "We put over 2000 miles on the raod during the season," he said. "Our farthest game is five hours away in Napa. They won't come up here to play us so we have to go down there."

The big man plans to attend this months Stanford Nike Camp as well as the USC summer camp. He's undecided as to what major he'll pursue in college but is leaning towards biology. He said he'll wait until National Signing Day 2005 to announce his choice of schools.

The Michigan Insider Top Stories