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Maualuga Focuses on the Future

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.

In USC's opening three games, Maualuga has given every indication of becoming the ideal middle linebacker.

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:

"We have very, very high standards for Rey and what he can contribute," Carroll said. "And he's just getting going. He's just a pup. He's just learning what's going on out there."

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.