250-pound Maualuga is coming hard, and it would be wise to get out of his way.
His target, at the moment, isn't a ballcarrier, though that will come soon
enough. Maualuga is aiming for the Trojans' starting middle linebacker spot.
Oscar Lua, a senior, was solid there last year, but Maualuga, a sophomore, is a
special player. He's a ferocious hitter who was such a force on special teams
and in part-time duty on defense that he was named to the freshman All-America
team. As long as Maualuga can control his aggressiveness--he was charged with
misdemeanor battery after allegedly punching a man at a party last year and is
undergoing anger-management counseling--the Trojans will have to find a way to
get this budding star on the field.
Vicious. Those words, Griffin says, have been inaccurately used to describe pit
bulls. He should know. He breeds them. But aggressive and vicious are accurate
descriptions of this 6-foot, 205-pound senior attack dog. With cornerback
speed, a lack of concern for the welfare of his body and a flair for the
dramatic, Griffin "will just knock you out," coach Mack Brown says.
Last year against Texas A&M, Griffin had 23 tackles and a blocked punt (one
of six in his career). And in the Rose Bowl against USC, he had a
momentum-turning interception in the end zone that helped the Longhorns win the
national title. His former roommate, Michael Huff, won the Thorpe Award last
season as the nation's best defensive back. Griffin just might keep that trophy
in Austin another year.
Big Men ON
From Air Force to
Wyoming, one for each of the 119 Division I-A schools
AIR FORCE --
GILBERTO PEREZ DE