California Linebacker Likes Irish

Eureka, California, a small town not far from the Oregon border, is home to one of the nation's most talented inside linebackers. Where does Notre Dame stand with this top prospect?

Rey Maualuga, at 6-2.5 and 241 pounds, certainly has the size. What's more impressive, however, is his speed at the inside linebacker position. Maualuga turned heads at the recent USC Nike Combine where he was timed at an astounding 4.47 in the 40 yard dash.

In his junior season, Maualuga recorded 146 tackles (110 unassisted) and 43 tackles for a loss.

It should, therefore, come as no surprise that Maualuga is drawing interest from the nation's top football programs. Thankfully, for Irish fans, Notre Dame has made a very good impression on him. "I'm getting handwritten letters from Coach McDonnell," said Maualuga. "Actually, they are the only school sending me handwritten letters. That means a lot to me. It shows that they think enough of me to actually take the time to write a letter, instead of just copying and pasting."

Is he interested in the Irish? "I'm definitely interested in Notre Dame. Actually a friend of mine just committed there and I've been talking to him about it." Maualuga's "friend" and former St. Boneventure teammate Terrail Lambert should be well known to Irish fans. Lambert signed with Notre Dame last month and was one of the nation's top defensive backs in the 2004 recruiting season.

Maualuga hasn't been to any summer camps or junior days. He plans to attend USC's camp this summer. "I'd like to attend more camps and things like that, but it's going to be difficult due to financial constraints."

The fact that he has yet to receive any official offers hasn't stopped Maualuga from narrowing down his choices. "My top five schools are USC, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Michigan and Washington. I plan on taking an official visit to each of my top five and make my decision after that."

What is he looking for to make his decision? "I'm going to consider the school's surroundings and academics. It's just going to come down to where I feel most comfortable…distance won't be a factor at all."

Maualuga has a self reported 3.1 G.P.A in his core and is set to take the SAT in May.

Comments: Maualuga seems to be a very nice young man. He is certainly going to be heavily recruited, and has developed a reputation as one of the nation's top linebacker prospects. USC appears to have the early lead, as it is the only school Maualuga has been able to visit. However, the Irish seem to have made a very favorable impression on him. Maualuga is definitely a prospect worth keeping an eye on. Top Stories