Rey Maualuga is fast becoming one of the nations best-known linebackers. Steve Dilbeck has a great write-up in today's Daily News.
The defense has been the key to USC's 3 wins so far this season and Maualuga is fast becoming a leader on this top-flight unit.
He has the natural size (6-3, 250). He has incredible burst. He is powerful and aggressive and uncommonly fast. More than all that, he is also amazingly athletic.
He can be a sledgehammer or a ballerina. Dazzle with power or agility. Play with fury and control.
"Maualuga has my vote for All-American right now," said Washington State coach Bill Doba. "He is a super linebacker."
That's quite an accomplishment given that he is only a sophomore and is just one of the many great LB's that USC has stockpiled. This is a stark change from last year when Maualuga was in the news for all the wrong reasons. Arrested for punching a fellow student that lead to a partial game suspension, then before the Rose Bowl Rey's father passed away after a long bout with cancer. He has put that behind him now and has focused on his game.
Maualuga is becoming a leader.
As Coach Carroll notes:
I know it's early but if he stays on track he could follow in the tracks of Chris Claiborne and Junior Seau and become one of the great USC linebackers.