Former Fallon football star finds second career in movies

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FALLON, Nev. (KOLO) - When Josh Mauga was a senior at Churchill County High School, one of his biggest days was when he signed on to play football at the University of Nevada as a linebacker. He would go on to play in the NFL -- most recently with the Kansas City Chiefs. But when he finished football in 2017, he and his family decided to stay in Kansas and make that their home.

"The kids just started school, my oldest too, and so we figured we'd bounced around playing football and this was the first time that we get to settle down," said Mauga, who recently spoke with KOLO 8 News Now through FaceTime from Kansas.

The former pro athlete says he and his family were enjoying life and settling in, when he unexpectedly got a message through Facebook from someone claiming to be a Hollywood executive producer.

"She reached out to me just to see if I was interested in a high-profile action movie this past fall that was being filmed in London," said Mauga. "And at first, I thought it's Facebook. This is a scam. Never even dreamed of this, so I deleted it. But then a few days later, my football agent gave me a call..."

It turns out that producer was legitimate and was looking for someone to do stunts and play the brother of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

"They found me just on the Internet," explained Mauga. "And they were looking for someone with an athletic background, someone with similar features."

Before he knew it, he was filming in London alongside The Rock in the movie "Hobbs and Shaw," a spin-off of the wildly successful "Fast and Furious" movie franchise. He says working with The Rock was incredible.

"It was amazing" said Mauga. "Having that interaction with him. He's just a super cool guy... just really down to earth. Very welcoming, asking me if I had a family. He's helped me with a lot of things, actually. It's been a cool experience!"

And one that's only beginning. Mauga has got another film lined up and is set to work with The Rock again. He can't believe the incredible turn his career has taken.

"I actually love what I'm doing now," he said. "Which is pretty cool because like I said, I never thought about doing anything like this before."

But his family and friends back home know he is still the same humble guy who married his high school sweetheart and played ball in Fallon.

"It's a blessing every day to have the opportunities that I've gotten and, you know, I just enjoy life," said Mauga.

"Hobbs and Shaw" will be released in theaters in August 2019.