Further Review | Sports Newton, Soliai newbies with different profiles By Dave Reardon Jan. 27, 2012 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. Not all Pro Bowl replacement players are the same. Everyone wants a piece of Cam Newton. He can’t even go to the portable lavatory at Earhart Field without someone outside of it wanting to shake his hand. Compared to the Panthers’ rookie quarterback, Dolphins nose tackle Paul Soliai is an invisible 350-pound man. Like Newton, he is a first-time Pro Bowl player, also making it here because someone else dropped out. Unlike Newton, he is not a rookie, he is not a quarterback, he did not lead his college team to a national championship. At practice at Hickam, he flew under the radar. Newton? Everyone’s locked on. Reviews are mixed on how he has handled the media and fan crush so far this week. Some say he’s arrogant, some say he’s polite. To me he seems brash, but also like a guy who doesn’t have a minute to himself trying to deal with it. This quote from an Associated Press story about being a backup in Sunday’s game indicates at least some humility: "So I’m watching and learning. What better way to learn than firsthand? I really don’t mind, especially to these two MVP candidates. I’ll be second string to that, man." BOTH NEWTON and Soliai are franchise players, but in different ways. Newton is unofficially considered The Franchise in Carolina, because the team’s hopes for success revolve around him, the first pick of the 2011 draft. Soliai got the dreaded (by some) official franchise tag last season. While it afforded him a nice $12 million salary, it also prevented him from testing the free-agent waters for even more. There are signs Miami might switch its defense to a 4-3, which would make signing him again less likely. Soliai was born in Santa Ana, Calif., but moved to American Samoa (both parents are Samoan) with family at age 8. "That’s where my football dream began. Everyone there dreams of the NFL. There are two ways to get off the island. Get a scholarship or join the service." After playing high school football at Nuuuli Poly Tech (competing against future University of Hawaii players Amani Purcell and Keith AhSoon), Soliai went to Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. He laughed when I asked about culture shock, and said the next stop at the University of Utah was also a "fun and interesting experience." The Dolphins drafted him in the fourth round in 2007 and he’s been there since. "I like it. We’ve got the water, but no mountains. Not much of a Polynesian community, other than The Rock (Dwayne Johnson). Davone (Bess) is one of my best friends on the team." He laughed again when I asked if Johnson might help get him a part in a movie. "Nah, but maybe I’ll go into wrestling (after football). Just joking." SOLIAI SAID he has family here, in Aiea. "And I’ve got people flying in from California, different places. "To be from a small island and to make it here, it’s great." A long path, but nowhere near as high-profile and crowded as Cam Newton’s. But they’re both here, having earned a place among the best in their business for the first time as pros. Reach Dave Reardon at dreardon@ staradvertiser.com or 529-4783. Previous Story New Raiders coach has reputation as 'intense' Next Story Paterno's son: 'Dad, you won. You can go home now'