Standing a rock-solid 6'2 and 240 pounds, Maualuga has the build of a division-one college player already, and when you couple that with his 4.47 speed and great sideline-to-sideline play, it's not too hard to see what the fuss is all about. In leading the Loggers to an undefeated season in 2003, he racked up 146 tackles, 43 tackles for loss, and 11 sacks from his middle linebacker position.
Recruiting attention has come from big time programs from across the country, but at the moment Maualuga has a group of five schools that he's primarily looking at, "SC, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Nebraska are up at the top," he said. "Education comes first, a place where I can feel comfortable…I have to be comfortable with the players because they're going to be the people I'm playing with, and the coaches…a place where I get the coaches respect, not only as a player but also as a person. My parents want me to stay close to home so that they can come and see every game, but no matter what, they'll support me, even if I travel across the country." At this time, all of Maualuga's favorites have offered with the exception of Michigan.
As Maualuga has maintained for quite awhile now, the Trojans stand out as his leader, "USC is definitely my leader," he said. "It's the school that I know more about than any other school. I've gone there and met the coaches and everybody there, and I've also gone on a tour of the campus."
In fact, it was when Maualuga came down on that unofficial visit in the spring that the Trojan staff came through with an offer, "I missed the junior day, so during our spring break I called up the coaches and asked them if I could stop by and use that as my junior day since I missed it, so I could tour the campus and meet all of the coaches. When I was done with the tour I met with the coaches. They sat down with me and talked to me a little bit and told me then."
Tim Davis is in charge of recruiting Maualuga for the Trojans, and as the blue chip linebacker explains, the fiery Trojan offensive line coach looks to have made a positive impression, "Tim Davis, he's a funny guy," he said. "He talks about basic stuff, like me getting ready to come down. He already knows that I'm leaning toward USC so he talks to me as if I'm already coming to USC, and he talks to me about staying up on school too."
While the Trojans do look to be in the lead right now, Maualuga is in no hurry to make a decision and plans on taking all five of his official visits before making a decision, "I've set up one official visit, with Coach Callahan at Nebraska," he said. "We have a jamboree on the first week of September, I think it's a Thursday or Friday, and after that jamboree they're supposed to send their own private jet because we don't have any airplanes that fly out that day. They want me to watch their game on Saturday. I don't know who they're playing but I'm looking forward to it. I also want to visit Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and LSU for now. I don't need to take a visit to USC because I've been there so many times and I can just drive down there any time I want to. I don't know my fifth one, it's still open."
As far as Maualuga's summer plans go, he hopes to make it down to Los Angeles later this month for the Trojan Camp, but if an injured hamstring he tweaked just prior to the Stanford Nike Camp doesn't heal in time, he might have to hold off, "I'm hoping to attend the USC camp, but if my leg isn't 100% by then I don't think I'll go. I was going to go to the Cal one this weekend, but I don't think so with my leg."
Maualuga plans on waiting right up until signing day before making his decision.