Nebraska: In-house with Rey Maualuga

He's been off the radar for awhile now as Husker fans view the list of most probable prospects around the country. He's been just one of those names that they look at, salivate a little over and move on, convinced in their own mind that he's going someplace else, little more than a pipe-dream to head east. Well, after an in-home visit and talking to him now twice in two days, Husker fans might want to think again.

Linebacker, Rey Maualuga is going to USC. Well, that's been the belief since his name arose as one of the best linebacker prospects in the country. If USC wants him, there's no way that Nebraska could get him to come to the midwest.

I think they said the same thing about Marlon Lucky.

Either way, being one of the top rated recruits in the entire country, Rey is certainly desired by USC, but by just about everyone else who has the guts to go up against the Trojans for a kid that's almost in their backyard.

You can count Oregon and Nebraska as the two teams have made it to what I guess we can call the semi-finals.

Actually, considering USC's chances of getting Maualuga, we gave them a bye to the final round and it's between Oregon and Nebraska to fight to see who gets in against them.

Well, Oregon was in Rey's house last night making their pitch, but tonight, it was NU linebacker coach, Bill Busch's turn to get up the plate and come out swinging.

According to Maualuga, Busch took a good hack. "I enjoyed the visit." Rey said. "He talked about why they wanted me there, but what I really liked was that what he said was what I already knew."

Ok, you are going to scratch your head at that, but you have to look at it from Rey's point of view.

For months now, this young man has had everyone and their dog tell him everything they thought he wanted to hear. Sales pitches, slogans even and all that blah, blah, blah that is basically, well, blah at this point of his recruiting.

He's heard it all.

What gave Nebraska a unique perspective for Maualuga, however, was the fact that he had been to the cmapus during a game, he had talked to the players, seen the coaches, seen what Nebraska was all about.

With this visit from Busch, he was looking for consistency.

"I wanted to know that I wasn't going to hear something different, because they thought that's what they needed to tell me to get me to go there." He said. "I just wanted to hear them back up everything they had been saying all along."

Maualuga said Busch did that and then some, sponsoring one emotion from the standout linebacker that he says keeps Nebraska in the race. "Respect." Rey said. "I got that from the visit, so that's good, because I'm a person first and I felt like that I was being recruited, not what I do on the football field."

"I mean, I am going for an education to."

The question for most fans now is now that the semi-finalists are out of the way, when does the big dog come take their shot and Rey said to that, that Carroll and company would be arriving in-house next Wednesday.

If you think Nebraska is done, though, think again, because Busch was the warm-up and the main event has yet to arrive. "Coach Busch said coach Callahan would be visiting soon, because he's like in Georgia." Rey said. "So, it will be nice to see him and get from the head coach something like I got tonight."

It really is fairly simple for Rey at this point when it comes to what he's looking for. After all, he's heard it all, seen it all and he knows exactly what each of these last three schools has to offer. It's not about the school anymore. It's about the people there that he'll be calling part of his temporary family for the next four to five years.

He's looking for that feeling.

"There isn't anything about these schools that they can tell me that I probably don't already know." He said. "There's some stuff, but the stuff I really care about, I've already gone over it with all of them."

"What I am looking for now is not just where I am wanted most, but where I feel like I want to be more than the other places. After all these visits from the coaches, me and my family can sit down, look at the good and bad about everything and figure it all out."

Husker fans will once again retort from an old mind-set engrained by years of recruiting futility that Oregon, USC, close to home, that's where he'll stay and there's nobody that can convince them otherwise.

Not even Rey?

"It really doesn't matter to me where I go and my parents don't care where I go." He said. "If it's a place where I am going to get a good education. If it's a place where I will be happy. That's what matters. Does it feel like a place I would enjoy being for years to come?"

"The location doesn't matter at all."

Nebraska is still in it, this according to the man himself. Still in it and still with a batter to go. Rey is looking forward to that for many reasons, but just like with Oregon and with USC, he's wanting to know that NU really wants him at NU. "If a team really wants you, the head coach shows up." He said. "That's when you know they really care when they go out of their way to come there, especially from as far away as Nebraska."

Ok, now for that inevitable question. Between Oregon and Nebraska after these two visits, anyone lead?

Yeah, you know what's coming, don't you? "There aren't any leaders." He said. "The only time I am going to have a real solid leader is when I decide where I want to go."

And, that might take place in the California/Florida game or the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. At this point, Rey hasn't decided which. We'll be around when he does, though, and of course, we'll keep tabs on Rey after Callahan comes to town.

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