Kaluka Maiava

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Kaluka Maiava
refer to caption
Maiava on the sidelines during the 2008 USC season.
No. 50, 56
Personal information
Born: (1987-03-22) March 22, 1987 (age 37)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:229 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school:Baldwin (Wailuku, Hawaii)
NFL draft:2009 / Round: 4 / Pick: 104
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:164
Forced fumbles:5
Player stats at PFR

Kaluka Maiava (born March 22, 1987) is a former American football linebacker who played for the Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played college football at USC.

He is currently a head coach of the Hawaii Preparatory Academy football team.[1]

High school career[edit]

Maiava attended Henry Perrine Baldwin High School in Wailuku, Hawaii on the island of Maui. His junior year, he had 157 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and 8 sacks. Before his senior season, Maiava nearly transferred to Kahuku High School on the island of Oahu, where his uncle was an assistant coach, to get more attention at a program known for its NFL alumni; however, his strong performance in football camps on the mainland influenced him to remain at Baldwin.[2] His senior year, he had 147 tackles, 39 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, 8 forced fumbles and 5 blocked kicks, as well as a punt return for a TD. As a student, he achieved a 3.6 grade point average and an SAT score of 1010 (old scoring system).[3] He modeled himself after Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.[2]

Considered the top recruit coming out of Hawaii and one of the top prospects at the linebacker position, Maiava was heavily recruited.[4] A number of major programs offered him scholarships, including UCLA, Washington, Oregon, Utah, BYU, Wisconsin, Colorado, Arizona and UTEP; however, he was not strongly recruited by the University of Hawaii, then under June Jones. His final three choices were USC, UCLA and Colorado.[2] In the summer before his senior year, while attending camps on the mainland, he was invited to make an official visit to UCLA. Impressed by their facilities and coaching staff, he made a soft verbal commitment to UCLA in July 2004.[2][3] However, Maiava decided to visit other programs and eventually drawn to USC, where he was attracted to the energy of the players and coaches, the program's popularity and the Hollywood atmosphere.[3] He committed to USC on October 11, 2004; he joined the same class as fellow Trojans linebacker Brian Cushing.[4] He is the first player from Maui to play for USC.[5]

In February 2005, the Council of the County of Maui honored him with a resolution congratulating him for all of his high school football achievements.[6]

College career[edit]

Maiava attended USC and played for the USC Trojan football team (2005-2008 seasons) under head coach Pete Carroll and Linebacker Coach Ken Norton Jr. The 2008 linebacker corps at USC, featuring Brian Cushing, Maiava, Clay Matthews III, and Rey Maualuga, was ranked as one of the most talented linebacker corps in college football history.[7][8][9]

During his freshman season at USC, Maiava was selected by the team as co-special teams player of the year along with kicker Mario Danelo, he also won the Trojans' Service Team Defensive Player of the Year.[10] In 2006, he had 34 tackles, including 3½ for losses while playing in 12 games and again winning the team's Co-Special Teams Player of the Year Award. During his junior, 2007 season, he was a key reserve, making 44 tackles, including 4½ for losses, two sacks, two pass deflections and a forced fumble while appearing in all 13 games and starting once, against Arizona State. During that season's bowl game, the 2008 Rose Bowl, he suffered a wrist injury and was unable to participate in spring practices.[11]

Going into his senior, 2008 season, he replaced All-American, top-10 NFL Draft selection Keith Rivers in a linebacking corp that included highly touted NFL prospects Brian Cushing and Rey Maualuga.[11] He had a strong senior season, finishing the regular season with 62 tackles, 7½ for losses, three pass deflections and an interception while making all 12 starts. He won the team player of the game award against rival-Notre Dame, and had the highest number tackles in games were USC struggled against opposing teams' rushing attack.[5] In the 2009 Rose Bowl Game, Maiava became the third straight linebacker from USC to have won the most valuable defensive player of the game, following 2009 bowl game teammates Cushing (2007) and Maualuga (2008).[12]

Maiava was one of twelve USC players, including the four senior linebackers Brian Cushing, Maiava, Clay Matthews III, and Rey Maualuga, who attended the by-invitation-only 2009 NFL Scouting Combine (top rated NCAA Division 1 teams might send only one to three senior players to the Combine).[13]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 2009 Rose Bowl Defensive MVP
  • 2008 coaches Second-team All-Pac-10
  • 2005-2006 USC Special Teams player of the Year

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft measurables[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
5 ft 11+12 in
(1.82 m)
229 lb
(104 kg)
30+12 in
(0.77 m)
9+12 in
(0.24 m)
4.65 s 1.62 s 2.70 s 4.20 s 6.98 s 32 in
(0.81 m)
9 ft 2 in
(2.79 m)
30 reps
All values from NFL Combine/USC's Pro Day[14][15]

Cleveland Browns[edit]

Maiava was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round, 104th overall in the 2009 NFL Draft.[16]

Oakland Raiders[edit]

On March 13, 2013, Maiava signed a three-year, $6 million contract with the Oakland Raiders.[17]

On July 10, 2013, Maiava was charged with assault and criminal property damage.[18]

Maiava was released by the Raiders on November 17, 2014.[19]

NFL career statistics[edit]

Bold Career high
Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck TFL Int Yds TD Lng PD FF FR Yds TD
2009 CLE 16 3 45 34 11 2.5 1 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0
2010 CLE 2 0 1 1 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2011 CLE 16 6 34 29 5 0.0 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
2012 CLE 16 13 53 35 18 2.0 1 0 0 0 0 3 2 0 0 0
2013 OAK 9 1 17 10 7 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2014 OAK 4 2 14 8 6 0.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
63 25 164 117 47 4.5 6 0 0 0 0 5 5 0 0 0

Personal life[edit]

Maiava's father, Scott Mahoney, attended and played football for Kamehameha Schools and the University of Colorado as an offensive lineman.[2] His mother, Kathryn, works for an airline, which allowed the family the ability to take free trips to the mainland during Maiava's high school recruiting period.[3] His brother, Kai, also played football at Colorado and UCLA. He is the grandson of professional wrestler Neff Maiava, and the nephew of Dwayne Johnson, who played football at Miami before gaining fame as professional wrestler "The Rock".[3]


  1. ^ "Football". Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e Paul Honda, Hard work takes Maiava, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 15, 2004, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e Stacy Kaneshiro, Maiava glad to be done with recruiting process, Honolulu Advertiser, January 30, 2005, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Kaluka Maiava - Football Recruiting, Rivals.com, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Dan Weber, Maiava makes most of his shot, The Press-Enterprise, December 25, 2008, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  6. ^ Resolution 05-17: CONGRATULATING KALUKA MAIAVA ON HIS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL ACHIEVEMENTS Archived June 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Council of the County of Maui, February 18, 2005, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  7. ^ "The Red Zone Report - Who is 'Linebacker U?'". Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2009.
  8. ^ http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=509434d[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=uscjustmightbethetrueloc&prov=tsn&type=lgns [dead link]
  10. ^ Gary Klein, The Best in the Nation Is Also Trojan MVP, Los Angeles Times, December 14, 2005, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  11. ^ a b Kalani Takase, Baldwin alum starts at USC[permanent dead link], Honolulu Advertiser, July 9, 2008, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  12. ^ Gary Klein, USC's Stafon Johnson to return; C.J. Gable might not, Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2009, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  13. ^ Ted Miller, Pac-10 NFL combine invitees Archived February 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, ESPN.com, February 2, 2009, Accessed February 2, 2009.
  14. ^ "Kaluka Maiava Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved March 20, 2024.
  15. ^ "2009 NFL Draft Scout Kaluka Maiava College Football Profile". DraftScout.com. April 1, 2009. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  16. ^ "2009 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 13, 2023.
  17. ^ "Raiders Add Three Unrestricted Free Agents on Defense". Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  18. ^ "Raiders' Maiava charged with assault at bar". July 10, 2013.
  19. ^ "Kaluka Maiava released". November 17, 2014.

External links[edit]