Maualuga Setting Visits

Eureka, Calif. linebacker Rey Maualuga is known as one of the top linebackers in the country. The 6-3, 235-pound star is off to a good start with his senior season, and is also concentrating on recruiting. With one official visit already under his belt, we spoke with Maualuga to get his thoughts on which other schools he might visit. Do the Irish still have a shot at Maualuga? Is he still planning to visit Notre Dame?

Linebacker Rey Maualuga is off to a good start with his senior season so far.

"We're 2-1 right now," Maualuga said of his Eureka high school team. "We started off kind of slow, but we've got it going now.

"I haven't really kept my stats. I know I had 12 tackles in the last game and one interception that I took to the house. I've mainly blocked on offense. I only ran the ball twice in the last game. My time will come."

Recruiting is also starting to occupy Maualuga's attention. He's already taken one official visit to Nebraska.

"I loved it there," Maualuga said of his Husker visit. "I felt like I was at home. Everyone was great to me. People that I didn't even know were yelling my name as I walked out of the tunnel. They were telling me to come to Nebraska.

"I also really liked all the coaches there at Nebraska. I felt like I fit in there pretty well."

The Irish were supposed to be next on the calendar for Maualuga with an official visit scheduled for this weekend as Notre Dame takes on Purdue.

"I was supposed to go up there this weekend," said Maualuga. "They called me and said my SAT scores didn't meet their standards. They said they can't bring me out due to the scores. I'm just studying for the test and I'll take it again."

We asked Maualuga if the canceling of the visit made him lose interest in Notre Dame.

No, I'm definitely interested in Notre Dame," he said. "I just talked to them last week and they're still recruiting me very hard. Just because they canceled the visit doesn't mean my interest has dropped. I just need to take the test again. I'm not sure when I'll do that."

Maualuga's team has a bye week this week, and that is why he was hoping to take a visit to Notre Dame this week. He said he's hoping to find another school this week to visit.

"I was thinking about going to (USC), but I called them up and they had a bye," said Maualuga. "I'm trying to find out if Oklahoma or Oregon have a game this weekend and see if I can make it to one of their games."

Maualuga says those schools mentioned pretty much make his top schools list at this point.

"Yeah, SC, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon and Louisiana State are probably my top schools," Maualuga said.

The Eureka, Calif. native said he's been watching a lot of college football lately trying to find places where he might fit in.

"I've been watching a lot of the teams to see if they're playing guys early," said Maualuga. "I figure if they are playing freshmen, it's not because they need them, but because they are quality players that deserve to play.

"I was watching USC and they were playing Keith Rivers at defensive end all night. He was one of the top linebackers in the country last year, but he was playing defensive end. I liked seeing that."

Comments: The Irish still remain in the hunt for Maualuga. We'll have to see if when he plans to take the test again. He'd have to take it fairly soon to get his scores back in time to make an official visit. He did seem very solid on his interest in Notre Dame at this point. We still think USC and Nebraska are the teams to beat, however.


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