RECRUITING: OU or USC for Maualuga?

Eureka, Calif. MLB Rey Maualuga breaks down the differences between the Sooners and Trojans.

REY MAUALUGA, ILB, 6'2, 245, 4.4, EUREKA, CALIFORNIA (EUREKA SENIOR HS):

You have to be big, tough and physical to play middle linebacker on the collegiate level, and there may not be any player in country that fits that description better than Rey Maualuga.

Maualuga is almost a prototype middle linebacker who goes into his senior season as a three-year starter. Last season Maualuga finished with over 120 tackles, eight sacks and two interceptions.

"I like playing inside because you see everything that is going on," said Maualuga. "It is the power position on defense and everything seems to come to me. I get a chance to make almost every play and I like that challenge of an offense trying to run through me. I usually win those battles."

Maualuga went to the NIKE camp at Stanford and to the USC summer camp. Maualuga has been offered by all the schools in the Pac 10 and many of the other elite programs in the country.

"I have my choices down to a top five," said Maualuga. "I like Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Washington State, USC and LSU. I don't really want say a favorite right now, but I am kind of leaning towards USC and Oklahoma. I like USC because that is where all Polynesians go and they have a great program. I also love the area and I love Los Angeles.

"I was born in Oklahoma and I spent my childhood there. I heard that Oklahoma is a nice place to live and I have heard a lot of great things about their football program. Both (USC and OU) have great linebacker programs, and maybe nobody beats Oklahoma at linebacker right now."

This decision may come down to whether Maualuga wants to stay close to home or not.

"In many ways I want to stay close to home and be close to my family," said Maualuga. "However, in many other ways I want to be independent and get out on my own and experience some things in life that I have never experienced before."

Maualuga is looking forward to taking the ACT test again soon.

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