Southern Cal's Maiava ready for next challenge


POSTED: Friday, January 16, 2009

Fresh off the crowning moment in his college career, Kaluka Maiava wasted little time in preparing for the next phase.

The Baldwin graduate capped his run at USC by being named the Rose Bowl's defensive MVP in the Trojans' blowout of Penn State on New Year's Day. Then he went back to work.

“;The next morning I went straight back to the weight room,”; Maiava said yesterday from Houston, site of the East-West Shrine Game. “;There was no time to relax or take a break. It's crunch time now.”;

Maiava is part of the Hawaii contingent participating in the college all-star game tomorrow at the University of Houston's Robertson Stadium. Also on the West roster are former Hawaii cornerback Ryan Mouton and Oregon State safety Al Afalava (Kahuku '05).

Maiava was USC's third-leading tackler with 66 total stops, including 7 1/2 for losses, for the Trojans.

He raised his profile with his MVP performance in the Rose Bowl and spent the last week working to further improve his stock in the practices leading up to the Shrine Game.

“;It's a great honor to be invited to a game like this and it's an opportunity to show NFL scouts and GMs that I can play,”; Maiava said. “;My dream is to play in the NFL, so it's a real big opportunity for me and I have to capitalize on it.

“;All the guys are trying to get paid next year, so we have to make our mark on every rep. It's been fun, though. It's been business during practice time and we have our fun after.”;

With just five linebackers on the West roster early in the week, Maiava didn't come off the field much in practice, giving him ample opportunity to impress the scouts. He's hoping to be invited to next week's Senior Bowl in Alabama and has been invited to the NFL combine.

“;That's a big weight off my shoulders,”; Maiava said. “;I was stressing if I was going to get invited, because you need every opportunity you can to prove yourself.”;

Maiava and Afalava, a late addition to the game, were Pac-10 rivals during their careers, with Afalava's Oregon State team costing the Trojans a shot at the national title with an upset in Corvallis this season.

“;He's killing it back there,”; Maiava said of Afalava. “;He's making a lot of big hits, he's impressing a lot of scouts. I'm pretty sure that guy's going to be rich next year.”;


Speed and quickness camps

Hawaii Speed and Quickness will hold its first camp of the year this weekend on the UH campus.

Clinics are scheduled for tomorrow and Sunday from 8:30-10 a.m. Registration starts at 8 a.m. at Klum Gym. The fee is $10 (cash only).

Clinics are also scheduled for most weekends through May.

Details and registration forms are available online at For more information, call 949-5997.


Bess joins Brennan benefit

Former UH receiver Davone Bess, now a member of the Miami Dolphins, will attend a benefit dinner hosted by former Warrior quarterback Colt Brennan on Feb. 3.

“;An Evening with Colt Brennan”; is scheduled for the Willows Restaurant and will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Hawaii. Tickets can be purchased by calling 952-9200 or 497-2900.