Despite the chances (slim to none) that he'll still be available in the NFL Draft by the time their first pick rolls around at no. 25, the Dolphins put unruly USC inside linebacker Rey Maualuga through his paces in a private meeting yesterday. Why? Because it's Rey Maualuga, and he's a lot more fun than the likely-available James Laurinaitis from Ohio State.
Maualuga doesn't fit the team's most pressing needs -- wide receiver and cornerback -- and the Dolphins would likely lose at lease a couple picks should they choose to trade up to select him. But...it's Rey Maualuga! His name is fun to spell!
And Bill Parcells, who coached the position for years, hasn't ever shied away from a big, play-making linebacker. Just ask Carl Banks, Pepper Johnson, James Farrior, Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, John Abraham, or Demarcus Ware, whom Parcells plucked from the pack of hopefuls and turned out pretty okay.
The 2008 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, Maualuga recorded 273 tackles, nine sacks and five interceptions in his career. Despite an injured hamstring, he ran a 4.6 at USC's Pro Day, and he just might be a great compliment to current Dolphin Channing Crowder, who's more of a run-stopper than game-changer.
What could make him absolutely perfect for Miami, though, is his style. Rey-Rey is an electrifying, tenacious player with personality to spare, and that position’s remained sadly unfilled in this city since Shaq left for the desert.
Maualuga is not afraid to grind on an unsuspecting lady (sideline princess Erin Andrews).
He will express himself by wearing a pink thong over his practice shorts.
He once scrapped at a party just to keep things interesting.
He will sport a wild mane of hair that sprouts from his helmet like it's gasping for air.
He could easily decapitate someone with one hand behind his back.
In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Dolphins know Maualuga is a lost cause, and just wanted to be entertained for a day. Even Parcells needs a little fun and gawking now and then.
Janie Campbell is a Florida sports fan who wants her own Pocket Maualuga to set free at the DMV. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the Internet.