Rey Maualuga: Wikis

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Rey Maualuga

Rey Maualuga during his tenure at USC.
No. 58     Cincinnati Bengals
Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: January 20, 1987 (1987-01-20) (age 22)
Place of birth: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 255 lb (116 kg)
Career information
College: Southern California
NFL Draft: 2009 / Round: 2 / Pick: 38
Debuted in 2009 for the Cincinnati Bengals
Career history
 As player:
Roster status: Injured Reserve
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2009
Tackles     63
Sacks     1.0
Forced fumbles     3
Stats at NFL.com

Rey Maualuga (born January 20, 1987 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) is an American football linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Bengals in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played college football at Southern California.

Contents

Early years

Maualuga was born at Reynolds Army Community Hospital in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to American Samoan parents, Talatonu and Tina Maualuga.[1] His father, Talatonu, was in Oklahoma serving with the United States Army. Within a few months the family moved to Waipahu, Hawaii, near Honolulu.[2] Financially, the family struggled in Hawaii.[1] While in sixth grade, Maualuga started playing football because he saw the popular kids played football and carried their pads and helmets to school.[2] Not only was Rey Maualuga passionate about football, he also had a love for attending church with his family. His family attended First Samoan Full Gospel Pentecostal Church in Waipahu and Moanalua where Rey was a member of the FSFGPC youth group. After sixth grade, his family moved to Oxnard, California as his father pursued Pentecostal ministry. He spent his first year of high school in nearby Ventura before moving up to Eureka in far Northern California where his father practiced ministry.[2]

Maualuga attended St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura, California where he played on a team with Lorenzo Booker. He moved to Eureka, California before his sophomore year where he played with future Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Maurice Purify. His team, the Eureka High School Loggers completed their perfect 13-0 season with a North Coast Section championship at the Redwood Bowl during his junior year. That year he posted 146 tackles, 43 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and 1 interception. In his senior year he had 96 tackles, 37 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions (2 for TDs), 2 fumble recoveries and 1 kickoff return for a touchdown. Eureka achieved an impressive 20-2-1 win-loss-tie record during his junior and senior seasons. Following his high school senior season, Maualuga played in the by-invitation 2005 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

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High school honors

  • Student Sports Junior All-American
  • Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass first team
  • PARADE All-American
  • USA Today All-USA first team
  • SuperPrep Elite 50
  • PrepStar Top 100 Dream Team
  • Student Sports Top 100
  • Rivals 10
  • SuperPrep All-American
  • PrepStar All-American
  • Tom Lemming All-American
  • Scout.com All-American first team
  • EA Sports All-American second team

College career

Maualuga has elaborate Polynesian warrior tattoos

Maualuga is known for his emotional intensity both on the field and off.[1][2][3] He attended USC and played for the USC Trojan football team (2005-2008 seasons) under head coach Pete Carroll and linebacker coach Ken Norton Jr. Carroll's Trojans had previously developed strong linebackers such as Lofa Tatupu and Keith Rivers, as well as Maualuga's fellow senior teammates Brian Cushing, Kaluka Maiava and Clay Matthews III, which were touted as one of the most talented linebacker corps in college football.[4][5][6][7]

As a freshman in 2005, Maualuga made the Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-American first team and Scout.com Freshman All-American first team; also he won USC's John McKay Award (most competitive spirit). Off the field his career started with occasional spirited and reckless partying that led to an October 2005 incident where he got into a fight at a Halloween party and was arrested for misdemeanor battery.[1] He agreed in an arraignment diversion program that included counseling, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and community service resulting in the charges being dismissed. Maualuga later noted that: "You learn that you're only given a certain number of chances. If you keep going back to the same things you were doing, it shows that you don't learn from anything."[2]

In 2006, Maualuga returned in full form and was nominated for the Butkus Award and second team All Pac-10. He made his first start in place of injured senior Oscar Lua against Nebraska.[3]

Maualuga on the sidelines of Nebraska's Memorial Stadium

Maualuga was a 2007 preseason Athlon and CBS Sportsline.com All-American and on the 2007 Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award and Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch lists, and was considered a top choice for the 2008 NFL Draft. But he decided to stay for his senior year in college.

At the end of the 2007 regular season, Maualuga was selected to the All-Pacific 10 Conference first team for the second year in a row by league coaches.[8] He was the defensive player-of-the-game in the 2008 Rose Bowl.[9]

Maualuga wears jersey number 58, which was previously worn by former Trojan linebacker and NFL Pro Bowl player Lofa Tatupu, who, like Maualuga, is also of Samoan descent. Mindful of his heritage, Maualuga displays many bold, warrior-like Polynesian tattoos on his arms and legs. Some NFL scouts have compared Maualuga to former Trojan and NFL linebacker great Junior Seau and former Trojan and current Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, both of Polynesian descent, for their sideline-to-sideline aggressive style of defense play, and Polamalu's shared preference for displaying long Polynesian warrior-style hair tucked under their football helmet.

In addition to being named the 2008 winner of the Chuck Bednarik Award, Maualuga was named to the 2008 All-American team by the AP, ESPN, Walter Camp Football Foundation, CBS Sportsline.com, Sporting News, Football Writers Association of America, American Football Coaches Association, College Football News and Rivals.com. Maualuga was also chosen to participate in the 2009 Senior Bowl with some of his other USC teammates also.

Professional career

Pre-draft

Maualuga was one of twelve graduating 2008 senior USC players, including the four senior linebackers (Cushing, Maiava, Matthews), invited to the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine.[10]

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20 ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6-1¾ * 249 lb * 4.82 * 1.57 ** 2.65 ** 4.35 ** X 31 in. ** 9'6" ** 23 * 15 *

(* represents NFL Combine ** represents USC Pro Day) [11]

In the lead up to the 2009 NFL Draft, Maualuga was ranked as one of the top middle linebackers entering the draft, alongside Ohio State's James Laurinaitis.[12][13] USC linebackers Maualuga, Cushing and Matthews were all featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated's 2009 NFL Draft Preview magazine, as all three were regarded as potential first round selections.[14]

Professional football

Cincinnati Bengals

Despite being projected as a first round pick, Maualuga was picked in the second round by the Cincinnati Bengals. Maualuga was projected by some, and expecting, to go 16th overall to the San Diego Chargers, who instead opted to select hybrid linebacker/defensive end Larry English out of Northern Illinois. After being selected, Maualuga cried as he gave thanks to his late father and said he was thankful for his opportunity as "Nothing like this was ever expected for our family."[15] His selection came one year after the Bengals used a first-round pick to select Maualuga's college teammate, linebacker Keith Rivers.

On December 30, 2009, Maualuga was placed on injured reserve due to a broken ankle he suffered a week before. He finished his rookie season with 63 tackles, one sack, three forced fumbles and three pass deflections in 15 games started.

Personal

During Maualuga's freshman year he wrote "RIP" on the eye black paint under his right eye and "DAD" under his left eye in honor of his dad who died two days before the BCS National Championship Game following the 2005 season.[16] His dad died after battling brain cancer, and from at least his junior season, black eye paint under both eyes read "DAD" in silver. He has two younger brothers.[1] Curiously, neither of his Samoan-American parents were tall.[17]

His paternal grandparents were the late Iete Maualuga and Emeline Maualuga of Sili/Olosega, Manu'a in American Samoa.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Jeff McLane, USC's Rey Maualuga overcomes hunger, The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 31, 2008, Accessed February 13, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e David Leon Moore, Maualuga hoping to gain respect on and off the field, USA TODAY, August 12, 2008, Accessed February 13, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Gary Klein, Emotional Maualuga Earns First Start, Los Angeles Times, September 14, 2006, Accessed February 13, 2009.
  4. ^ http://theredzonereport.com/2008/03/11/who-is-linebacker-u/192/
  5. ^ http://bleacherreport.com/articles/116326-2009-nfl-draft-maualuga-cushing-lead-usc-lb-trio-into-draft
  6. ^ http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=509434d
  7. ^ http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=uscjustmightbethetrueloc&prov=tsn&type=lgns
  8. ^ Pac-10 Football Awards and All-Conference Team Announced, Pacific 10 Conference, December 3, 2007.
  9. ^ Chris Foster, USC's Maualuga caps a strong defensive effort, Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2008.
  10. ^ Ted Miller, Pac-10 NFL combine invitees, ESPN.com, February 2, 2009, Accessed February 2, 2009.
  11. ^ "Rey Maualuga". NFL Draft Scout.com. 2009-02-29. http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=57021&draftyear=2009&genpos=ILB. Retrieved 2009-04-19.  
  12. ^ USC's Rey Maualuga leads inside linebackers in draft, Chicago Tribune, April 21, 2009, Accessed April 26, 2009.
  13. ^ Kevin Acee, Among linebackers, Trojans' Maualuga at head of class, San Diego Union-Tribune, April 20, 2009, Accessed April 26, 2009.
  14. ^ Gary Klein, USC's Maualuga, Cushing and Matthews grace Sports Illustrated cover, LATimes.com, April 21, 2009, Accessed April 26, 2009.
  15. ^ Sean Quincey, Man of value: Draft falls reveals Maualuga's incredible stripes, Times-Standard, April 26, 2009, Accessed April 26, 2009.
  16. ^ http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/pac10/2008-08-11-maualuga-respect_N.htm
  17. ^ Neil Tarpey, Impact and a purpose: Maualuga reflects, eyes NFL future, The Times-Standard, January 8, 2009, Accessed January 13, 2009.

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