It’s a strong year for linebackers out West this year and in our eyes, the No. 1 player at the position is Eureka’s (Calif.) Rey Maualuga. Maualuga, 6-3, 245 pounds has recently cut his list down to four schools and will take two more visits before he makes his decision.
Maualuga is a tough, physical athlete with college size and a great motor. Despite his size, he’s a very athletic player who tested off the charts at the Nike Combine at USC last February. The talented ‘backer clocked a 4.47 in the 40, 4.56 in the shuttle, jumped 33 inches in the vertical and did 32 reps on the bench.
Later in May, Maualuga was at the NorCal Nike Camp hoping to smash the *SPARQ Rating record and was off to a strong start jumping 32 inches in the vertical with 37 reps on the bench. Then while running his 40 on a wet, slick field, he slightly strained his hamstring with about 10 yards to go before the finish line.
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Amazingly, Maualuga still ran a 4.70 in the 40 and then hobbled over to the shuttle and clocked a 4.50 there. Few are as competitive as Maualuga who was initially planning to attend the SoCal Nike Camp for the sole purpose of competing against Lakewood’s (Calif.) Luther Brown. Once he heard Brown wasn’t attending, he switched to the NorCal Nike Camp and was eager to workout with Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman’s Ryan Reynolds.
On the recruiting front, Maualuga has already visited Oregon and Nebraska and will trip to USC and Notre Dame before making his decision.
“I dropped Oklahoma and I’m down to those four schools right now,” Maualuga said. “USC and Oregon are my top two and I’ll probably decide at the Army All-American game. My trip to SC is set up for (Dec. 10) and I haven’t set up the visit to Notre Dame yet but it will probably also be sometime in December. “
Here’s how Maualuga broke down his four schools:
USC- “They’re the top program in the country right now and I love it in Southern CA. Plus Ken Norton is a great teacher and I know I’ll be able to learn a lot about playing linebacker from him.
Oregon- “I love the stadium, the location, the weather and the coaches. The coaches are real to me, they don’t tell me what they think I want to hear but are always up front and honest with me.”
Nebraska- “My visit was absolutely perfect, there wasn’t anything about it that was bad but the only drawback is there just isn’t a lot to do there. The school itself and the football program are great, but socially, it’s not really what I was looking for.”
Notre Dame- “They have an incredible football tradition there that I’ve always respected. I like the coaches and I’m looking forward to checking out the school more. Of all the schools I’m looking at, I know the least about Notre Dame because I’ve never been there before so I’m looking forward to my visit.”
*Taking the standard measurements of the football combine, the SPARQ Rating weighs and combines the 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle, vertical jump and bench press into a single number that measures an athlete’s overall athleticism. Thus, football players can track the progress of their training, through occasional tests, and compare SPARQ Ratings with teammates, training partners and competitors. To learn more about the SPARQ Rating, go to www.sparqtraining.com.