MICHAEL D. MAUTI
Middle/Strong-side Outside Linebacker
The Penn State University Nittany Lions
Mandeville High School
The late Joe Paterno left quite a legacy back on the Penn State campus, as countless former players would see their sons go on to play for JoePa during the coach's tenure at the university. The 2011 team boasted nine lettermen that have ties to current or former Nittany Lion football team players, coaches or staff, led by their blue chip senior linebacker, Michael Mauti.
The Mauti family legacy began with Rich, who lettered as a wide receiver and return specialist for the Nittany Lions from 1975-76 before playing in the National Football League with the New Orleans Saints (1977-83) and Washington Redskins. Rich led the 1976 PSU squad in receptions and kickoff return average as a senior.
During his junior campaign, Rich caught a 70-yard scoring toss that ranked as the tenth-longest reception in school annals. His kickoff return average of 28.0 yards in 1975 is the tenth-best on the school season-record list. His 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown vs. Temple that season is the second-longest runback by a Nittany Lion.
Rich's son and Michael's brother, Patrick, would later carry on the Mauti tradition at Penn State, playing for Joe Paterno as a reserve receiver during his playing days (2005-09) at the university. Michael would be the next family member to suit up for the Nittany Lions, joining his brother in wearing the white-&-blue colors in 2008. He would go on to earn his degree three-and-one half years later (December, 2011) and will compete while pursuing post-graduate endeavors in 2012.
With massive changes taking place on the Penn State campus and within the football program, Mauti will join Gerald Hodges in helping PSU co-defensive coordinator Ron Vanderlinden carry on the school's long-standing tradition of producing standout defenders for a unit that for decades has proudly been dubbed "Linebacker U."
With sixteen players leaving the Penn State program this past summer after the NCAA enforced heavy sanctions on the program, it was Mauti would stood up and spoke loudly in trying to "rally the troops" to remain together in what would be a 2012 campaign where the entire program will be placed under the national "microscope." Paterno always knew that when he recruited this blue chip linebacker that there was exceptional character and work ethic within. After all, Michael was his "father's son."
In the book, "Lessons From the Top: The Search for America's Best Business Leaders," Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, made the following observation: "I think it's very difficult to lead today when people are not really truly participating in the decision. You won't be able to attract and retain great people if they don't feel like they are part of the authorship of the strategy and the authorship of the really critical issues. If you don't give people an opportunity to really be engaged, they won't stay."
Shultz explored the five key traits that will help a person become the kind of leader people love working for. Those traits are parallel to those displayed by Mauti, both on and off the football field. Key Trait #1: You must have a vision. Mauti is the type that lives by the motto, "You must stand for something, or you'll fall for everything."
The linebacker and Penn State senior fullback Michael Zordich led a group of about two dozen players that publicly pledged their commitment to the university before the 2012 August camp opened. "This program was not built by one man and this program is sure as hell not going to get torn down by one man," said Mauti, who missed the final three months of the 2011 campaign with a knee injury.
The senior duo speaks it, writes it, draws it, and touches it – playing with vision while showing high character. As they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Mauti taking a stand let the younger players know that the "line forms here" in restoring Penn State tradition and values.
Key Trait #2: You must have passion. No one can ever dispute that Mauti does not bring passion on the field, in the huddle and inside the locker room. He proved throughout several grueling injury rehabilitation periods that passion for the game is such a key part of being a great leader that if you don't have it, you simply can't be a great leader.
All the players in the Penn State program will tell you that Mauti's passion is infectious. Because his passion and vision shine through, others within the program that might have thought about leaving the university felt it and started to "get on board" with their senior linebacker, even though sixteen of those letterman did eventually "seek greener pastures" elsewhere.
Key Trait #3: You must learn to be a great decision maker. No matter what task the coaches have placed "on the table" for Mauti, he has excelled in every phase. Whether it was playing on the special teams coverage units, lining up at weak-side linebacker or attacking the edge from the strong-side, Mauti's decisive and explosive closing burst shows in his ability to instantly locate the ball and take proper angles to make the play.
Mauti produced 133 tackles vs. the running game, limiting those ball carriers to just 207 yards, an average of 1.56 yards per attempt. fourteen times he sniffed out the play to make stops inside the backfield. Twelve of those hits came inside the red zone, including four on goal-line plays. Seventeen of those hits ended opponents' scoring drives (one caused fumble, fourteen stops on third-down plays and four more on fourth-down snaps).
Key Trait #4: You must be committed. Mauti could have joined others and simply transferred out of the Penn State program this summer. He not only chose to stay, but took on the role of being "the voice" for those trying to maintain the integrity of the program. None of the Penn State players had planned on being at the recently concluded Big Ten Conference 2012 Media Day.
Mauti was a last-minute addition to Penn State's player contingent for the Big Ten media function, a contingent that very nearly didn't come to Chicago at all. But, Mauti ended up being arguably the best interview subject here, offering an impassioned defense of his team and railing against the NCAA transfer rules.
The senior not only drew a lot of notice for what he said at the media day, but also returned to his hotel room that Thursday evening and spent three hours going over emails sent to him. The correspondence came from fans, alumni, heads of Penn State departments and professors -- some who had taught Mauti and some who had not.
Mauti said he got one email from a couple of fans who told them they'd sworn never to go another Penn State football game after the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke. But they told him that after watching him talk, they promised never to miss another game.
"That's why I know we're doing the right thing here," he told reporters in Chicago. "I told coach, I'm going to let it fly, man. We've got to let the public and the world know we're sticking together. We wanted this platform, of course we did."
"When Mauti and Zordich were there with the team behind them, there was a tremendous amount of groundswell coming off of that video," Penn State athletic director Dave Joyner said. "It's the players that are really continuing to put a stake in the ground for this program."
Key Trait #5: You must have character. Without character, all the other "keys" are for naught. That's because your innate character strengths and limitations play a critical role in your leadership style. The real question is, are you aware of just what role they play? All great leaders have taken steps to learn about their individual personality and what part it plays in their leadership style. Mauti's actions in trying to keep the locker room intact, speaks volumes for his character.
Mauti's tireless work ethic in the training room, especially while trying to rehabilitate from his 2011 knee injury, pushed the younger players to emulate the senior linebacker. What Mauti showed the rest of the Penn State athletes is that, "if you feel the traits don't match who you think you are, then look a little deeper and be honest with yourself."
A great leader is someone who has a clear vision and can turn that vision into a vivid picture that others can see. Everything that Mauti does speaks about his vision, the passion he feels in his heart, the passion that has created so much enthusiasm, that even the average fan knows that those Penn State teammates that remain will want to jump on board with their senior defensive leader.
Many professional scouts felt that Mauti will become the face of the team in 2012. He lived up to that billing until injuries would again sideline him, after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in his next-to-last college game, vs. Indiana. He missed the 2009 season with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament and played only four games before blowing out his left anterior cruciate ligament in 2011. Still, when he's on the field, most of those scouts agree - he's one of the best linebackers in the Big Ten Conference.
Mauti was all over the field making plays during the initial three games of the 2011 season and was on his way to, at a minimum, adding his name to the list of "Linebacker U." stand-outs who have earned All-Big Ten Conference accolades. The preseason first-team All-Conference selection, though, saw his junior season abruptly end in the first quarter vs. Eastern Michigan with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Mauti did not play the rest of that season, but he continued his leadership role at practice and on the sideline during games, maintaining a presence that saw him included on the team's 70-man roster for away games. He was tireless during his rehabilitation and when winter strength and conditioning sessions began, Mauti again was at the forefront with his leadership by example and warrior mentality.
The talented, instinctive and hard-hitting Mauti participated in selected individual drills during 2012 spring camp and was completely recovered in time for his final season. A Butkus Award and post-season honors candidate, he is a fierce competitor, one of the squad's hardest workers and a sure tackler.
Mauti possesses tremendous linebacking acumen and the athleticism and speed to chase down a ball carrier or blanket a running back or tight end in pass coverage. In 39 games at Penn State, including 22 as a starter, the linebacker was involved in making plays on 69 passes targeted into his area. He allowed only 21 of those balls to be caught (30.43%), limiting those catchers to just 6.0 yards per completion and a miniscule 1.83 yards per pass attempt (attempt average is the lowest for any active Big Ten player).
Against the pass, Mauti rerouted or jammed receivers on 35 of those 69 throws (50.72%), defending five of those attempts while killing a total of 32 potential scoring drives (26 third downs and six fourth-down stops made) vs. the aerial game. His quick decision making ability and field vision also saw him register eight touchdown-saving tackles (five vs. the run and three vs. the pass), coming from the opposite end of the field to make those stops after opponents eluded other Penn State defenders.
Prior to his arrival on the Penn State campus in 2008, Mauti was a standout linebacker at Mandeville (La.) High School, where he was rated the third-best middle linebacker prospect in the prep ranks by ESPN (placed 58th overall on the ESPN Top 150 team). He received a four-star prospect rating from Rivals.com, as the Louisiana Top 40 (ranked eighth overall) talent was ranked fourth in the nation by that recruiting service among the nation's linebackers having the "best instincts."
Mauti also received four-star prospect status and ranked ninth among the nation's line-backers, according to Scout.com. The 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl participant helped the Skippers compile a 10-3 record in 2007. The All-Class 5A and All-District VI choice registered 24 tackles-for-loss, including four sacks, among his 121 tackles during that campaign. He returned two interceptions for touchdowns and also recovered a pair of fumbles.
As a junior, Mauti played on both sides of the ball for a 6-5 unit. Some of his better prep performances came vs. Denham Springs, where he hauled in a pass for a 10-yard touch-down. He also paced the Skippers in tackles in each of the Walker (ten hits), St. Paul (five of nine tackles were for losses) and Slidell (13 tackles, 3 for loss). Even though he was heavily recruited, he signed his national letter-of-intent to attend Penn State on June 24th, 2007, spurning scholarship offers from Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana State, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Oregon and Tulane.
As a true freshman at Penn State in 2008, Mauti appeared in all thirteen games. He appeared late in contests with the defensive second unit, but made a name for himself on the kickoff coverage team, leading the Nittany Lions with thirteen tackles (6 solos) on special teams. He also compiled a total of 26 stops (12 solos), including one for a loss while causing a fumble.
On defense, he killed six scoring drives (one forced fumble, four third-down stops and another on fourth down) while also giving chase on a long reception to record a touch-down-saving tackle vs. Wisconsin. He held ball carriers to 19 yards on eight running plays
He made tackles on. Just 3-of-10 passes targeted into his area were completed, holding those receivers to an average of 6.0 yards per grab.
Mauti would spend the 2009 season on the sidelines after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during an August practice. The medical redshirt allowed him to retain three years of eligibility. It also allowed the coaching staff to see the work ethic, character and physical development he displayed throughout a grueling rehabilitation process.
The coaches recognized during 2010 preseason drills that Mauti was not only bigger and stronger, but much faster. The saw a player who plays well laterally, moving sideline to sideline, and is also very tough with things coming right at him, as he fights off blockers with a vengeance and finds the ball.
Once he gets to the ball carrier, Mauti brings a physical attitude and style with him. He's aggressive and plays with a nasty streak, along with showing very good instincts, vision and agility. "I'm always going towards the ball," the linebacker stated. "I move well side-line-to-sideline and have a nose for the ball. I never stop going and play hard through all four quarters. I play hard and hit big."
Even though Mauti missed the Illinois clash with an ankle sprain and later sat out most of the Ohio State contest and the entire Indiana game with a shoulder sprain, he finished fifth on the team with 68 tackles (32 solos) that included two sacks among his 5.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. On 48 running plays he made tackles on, those ball carriers managed just 125 yards (2.6 ypc) with no first downs, as he was responsible for killing fourteen scoring drives (12 on third-down and two on fourth-down plays).
In addition to posting eight of those hits inside the red zone, Mauti rerouted or jammed receivers on 23-of-40 passes targeted into his area. He allowed twelve of those tosses to be completed (30.00%) for just 75 yards, an average of 6.25 yards per catch and 1.88 yards per attempt. He made thirteen third-down plays and five fourth-down stops vs. the aerial game. He also posted three tackles as a member of the punt coverage unit.
The intense and focused fifth-year senior started the first four games of the 2011 season and was having a banner campaign until tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the first quarter vs. Eastern Michigan that would end his campaign. He produced 21 tackles (10 solos) with three stops-for-loss. He also broke up three passes and had his first career interception.
Against the run, Mauti simply dominated. On seventeen tackles made vs. the ground game, those runners collected only 18 yards (1.06 ypc), as he also registered a pair of touchdown-saving tackles at the opposite end of the field. He Also rerouted receivers away from 8-of-19 passes targeted into his area, with just six of those tosses caught (31.58%) for 33 yards (5.5 yards per completion/1.74 per attempt), as ten of his stops came on third-down snaps.
Mauti graduated in December, 2011 and is presently taking post-graduate courses. He was a preseason All-American team and All-Big Ten Conference, in addition to being named to the Butkus Award Watch List, an honor given annually to the best linebacker in the collegiate ranks.
Mauti continued his quest to keep his football team intact throughout all the defections, even though the NCAA allowed players to transfer to another school and play immediately, thanks to the recent sanctions, including a four-year bowl ban issued vs. the university. The campus also turned into a "recruiting pool" for other schools trying to raid the program and strip Penn State of its top athletes and recruits.
Mauti made it clear that he didn't appreciate the presence of Illinois coaches in State College prior to the start of August camp, even though he acknowledged they were not breaking any rules by being there. Penn State players, under the NCAA sanctions announced, could transfer without sitting out a season.
"They weren't hounding me personally. But I know for a fact they reached out to our players," Mauti said. "I don't want to make this a feuding thing. But at the same time, if you're from our conference and you're going to try and steal our players and then wish us well, then I got a serious problem with that."
New Illinois coach Tim Beckman said that his coaches were not on campus but at establishments in State College where they were available to talk to players about their desire to leave. "Don't get me wrong. He's not breaking any rules because there are no rules," Mauti said. "It's been set up right now for our team to just fall apart ... piece by piece and guys just go everywhere they want because that door is open."
But Mauti said that's not going to happen, even though the Nittany Lions are banned from bowl games the next four years. "Somebody leaves, it's their decision, a big decision," he said. "We'll wish them well. We're not going to worry about those guys when we put the pads on."
Mauti said he'd read the Freeh report and didn't want to elaborate on its findings. "No one (current player) had anything to do with that, but, yeah, we're paying the consequences and that's OK," he said. "That's the situation we're in. ... We're looking to create a new legacy here, something special."
The senior was named team captain and was having a banner campaign. Despite missing the season finale vs. Wisconsin, he still finished second on the team with a career-high 95 tackles, chipping in with 2.5 sacks and four stops-for-loss. He paced the team with three interceptions, including a 99-yarder vs. Illinois that is the second-longest return of a pass theft in school history.
Mauti appeared in 39 games at Penn State, starting 22 contests – seven at weak-side and fifteen at strong-side outside linebacker…Expected to shift to middle linebacker in the National Football League, he recorded 210 tackles (102 solos) with 4.5 sacks for minus 35 yards, 13.5 stops for losses of 59 yards and four quarterback pressures while posting 37 tackles (17 solos) on special teams…Caused four fumbles, recovered another, picked off four passes for 125 yards in returns and deflected six others… Made 133 plays vs. the ground game, as he produced five touchdown-saving tackles and was responsible for killing seventeen scoring drives (one caused fumble, fourteen third-down hits, two fourth-down snaps) vs. a rushing attack that managed only 207 yards (1.56 ypc) and just two first downs with no touchdowns vs. the linebacker…Mauti was also involved in 69 passes targeted into his area, as he yielded only 21 receptions (30.43%) for 126 yards (6.0 yards per pass completion/1.83 yards per attempt) vs. the aerial attack that managed only four first downs vs. the Nittany Lion, as Mauti produced 26 third-down stops, six more on fourth-down and rerouted/jammed receivers away from 35 attempted throws (50.72%) while chasing down opponents at the opposite end of the field to post three touchdown-saving tackles vs. the aerial game…Mauti made a total of ten tackles (solos and assists) for loss and stopped six ball carriers at the line of scrimmage for no gain…He registered twelve of his tackles inside the red zone, including four on goal-line plays…In the 2012 Illinois contest, he returned an interception 99 yards before being tackled at the goal-line. The only player with a longer interception return in school history is Andre Collins, who had a 102-yard runback vs. Brigham Young in the 1989 Holiday Bowl.
Mauti was named to the Butkus Award Watch List, an honor given to the top linebacker in college football…Added All-American honorable mention and All-Big Ten Conference first-team accolades from The NFL Draft Report…Started the team's first eleven games at right outside linebacker, missing the season finale vs. Wisconsin after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee vs. Indiana…Finished second on the team with a career-high 95 tackles (48 solos), as the Nittany Lions captain added 2.5 sacks and four stops for losses of 31 yards…Led the squad with three interceptions for 125 yards in returns that included the second-longest runback in school history, a 99-yarder vs. Illinois, as he had two thefts vs. the Illini, adding six tackles with an assisted sack. Ironically, PSU failed to score on his 99-yard return, but did produce a touchdown drive from his next theft. He received Big Ten Conference Player of the Week and NCAA National Player of the Week honors…Caused three fumbles and recovered another…Made five touchdown-saving tackles vs. the ground game…Led the Nittany Lions with nine tackles vs. Virginia and added a forced fumble and a fumble recovery…Produced twelve stops vs. Ohio University and was credited with twelve more tackles, adding a 21-yard sack and two hits for minus 26 yards vs. Navy. He was part of a Nittany Lion defense that forced four turnovers, including one that resulted in a defensive touchdown, as he was named Big Ten Player of the Week for his performance…Posted nine tackles with a forced fumble and a pass break-up vs. Temple…Had a 20-yard interception return, eight tackles and a sack in a 38-14 win over Iowa…Followed with thirteen tackles vs. Ohio State and ten hits with a forced fumble vs. Nebraska…Mauti suffered an injury to his left knee in the first quarter of Saturday's game vs. Indiana and was carted off the field. Mauti, a senior who underwent surgery last season for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the same knee, was injured when he was blocked in the knee by Indiana running back D'Angelo Roberts. Hoosiers center Collin Rahrig had engaged Mauti up high before Roberts came in low, the definition of a chop block, but no penalty was called. With coach Bill O'Brien and teammates Jordan Hill and Gerald Hodges standing over him, Mauti lay on the field in pain and could not put any weight on his left leg as he was loaded in the cart. The entire Penn State team came on the field as the cart drove off, and fullback Michael Zordich gave Mauti a high-five as he went past.
A preseason All-Big Ten Conference first-team choice by The NFL Draft Report and Scout.com, Mauti was well on his way to having an All-American season for the Nittany Lions until he suffered a left knee anterior cruciate ligament tear in the first quarter of the Eastern Michigan clash…Participating in just 182 defensive snaps, he recorded 21 tackles (10 solos), including three stops for losses of 8 yards and a quarterback pressure…Also had his first career interception, as the Bronko Nagurski Award Watch List member (nation's top defensive player) added four pass deflections…Registered a pair of touch-down-saving tackles vs. the ground game, as he limited those opponents to 21 yards on seventeen plays made vs. the rushing attack. Those ball carriers managed to average just 1.235 yards per attempt vs. Mauti (opponents averaged 3.7 yards per carry vs. the rest of the PSU team). With the strong-side linebacker on the field, Penn State held opponents to under 75 yards rushing in three of the four games he appeared in. Without Mauti, PSU opponents gained over 160 yards rushing in five of the nine games he was sidelined…The fourth-year junior had nineteen passes targeted into his area, as Mauti rerouted receivers away from eight of those throws (42.11%), allowing just six receptions for 33 yards (31.58 pass completion percentage), an average of 5.5 yards per pass completion and 1.74 yards per attempt, as he recorded ten third-down stops vs. the passing game. Opponents went on to average 130.33 yards per game passing in contests that Mauti played in. With the junior out of the lineup, the Nittany Lions yielded 208.7 aerial yards per game, including giving up 532 yards passing vs. Houston in the TicketCity Bowl…Mauti did not allow an opponent to record any first downs in 2011, as he led a defense that surrendered a total of only five touchdowns and 726 yards with the linebacker on the field (181.5 yards per game). Without their junior defender, Penn State saw their opponents average 378.3 yards per game in total offense and record 28 touchdowns…In the Alabama clash, Mauti came up with a career-high thirteen tackles, as he also deflected a pair of passes, but in the first matchup between the national powers in Beaver Stadium since 1989, third-ranked Alabama downed No. 23 Penn State, 27-11, as the Nittany Lions saw its 23-game home non-conference win streak, tied for second-longest in the nation, come to an end…Facing the threat of experiencing their second consecutive loss, the Nittany Lions relied on their junior linebacker to stave off defeat for a 14-10 decision over Temple, as Mauti was named Player of the Game. The strong-side linebacker delivered six solo tackles with three stops behind the line of scrimmage and a quarterback pressure, as he also deflected a pass and recorded his first career interception…The next week vs. Eastern Michigan, Mauti suffered a left knee anterior cruciate ligament tear in the first quarter that would force the fourth-year junior to the sidelines for the rest of the season.
Mauti returned to action after missing the 2009 campaign, but injuries would again sideline him twice during the campaign, sitting out vs. Illinois after suffering an ankle sprain in practice, along with missing most of the Ohio State clash and the entire Indiana game with a shoulder sprain…Still managed to finish fifth on the team with 68 tackles (32 solos) that included two sacks for minus 10 yards, 5.5 stops for losses of 18 yards and a pair of quarterback pressures…Appeared in a total of 476 defensive snaps in eleven contests, starting vs. Alabama, Kent State, Temple, Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern and Ohio State at left outside linebacker…Also deflected on pass and recorded three tackles (2 assists) for the punt coverage unit…Made 48 plays vs. the running attack, limiting those ball carriers to 125 yards (2.6 ypc), no touchdowns and just two first downs, as he charged from the opposite side of the field to deliver three touchdown-saving tackles on runners that had eluded other PSU defenders…Posted twelve third-down hits and two more on fourth-down snaps vs. the opponents' runners, as he collected eight of those hits inside he red zone, including one on a goal line play…The Nittany Lions finished 74th in the nation in rush defense, yielding 165.62 yards per game (Mauti gave up just 11.36 yards per contest). In the games where Mauti was sidelined, Penn State gave up 228.67 yards per game on the ground…The opponents targeted 40 passes into Mauti's area, completing just twelve of those throws (30.0%) for 75 yards, an average of 6.25 yards per pass completion and 1.88 yards per pass attempt (attempt average was the lowest for any defender in the Big Ten Conference and lowest for any linebacker in the nation in 2010). Three of those grabs produced first downs vs. Mauti, but the linebacker recorded thirteen third-down stops, five more on fourth-down and came out of his area to chase down catchers and register two touchdown-saving tackles vs. the aerial attack. With Mauti in the lineup, PSU allowed 165.45 yards passing per game. While he was sidelined, opponents light up the Lions for 187.67 aerial yards per game.
Mauti tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during an August practice, sidelining him for the season…He received a medical redshirt, retaining two more years of college football eligibility.
Mauti graduated early from high school and enrolled at Penn State in January, 2008, in time to compete during spring drills, where he was the recipient of the Jim O'Hora Award, presented to the defense's most improved player…The true freshman excelled on special teams and with the defensive squad's second unit, recording a total of 26 tackles (12 solos) with a stop for a 2-yard loss, a quarterback pressure and a forced fumble while logging action in 249 snaps…Led the kickoff coverage team with twelve tackles (5 solos)…
Mauti recorded eight of his stops vs. the ground game, seeing those ball carriers manage just 19 yards (2.38 ypc) with no touchdowns or first downs, as he produced two tackles-for-loss and another that stopped a runner at the line of scrimmage for no gain…He had ten p[asses targeted into his area, with just three tosses being completed (30.00%) for 18 yards, an average of 6.0 yards per completion and 1.8 yards per attempt while coming up with three third-down hits, another on fourth-down and a touchdown-saving tackle, in addition to rerouting receivers away from four throws.
High School…As reported by the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Mauti suffered a broken foot during 2007 that required an eight-week rehabilitation program.
2009 Season…A right knee anterior cruciate ligament tear in August drills sidelined Mauti for the entire season and he was granted a medical red-shirt.
2010 Season…Mauti sat out the Illinois contest (10/09) after suffering an ankle sprain in practice…He left the Ohio State clash (11/13) in the second quarter after he sprained his shoulder, sitting out the next game vs. Indiana (11/20) before returning and seeing limited action vs. Michigan State (11/27).
2011 Season…Mauti saw the season come to an end in the fourth quarter of Penn State's fourth game on the schedule, as he suffered a left knee anterior ligament tear in the first quarter vs. Eastern Michigan.
2012 Season…Mauti suffered a left knee anterior cruciate ligament tear early in the first quarter vs. Indiana (11/17) that would sideline him for the season finale vs. Wisconsin. The senior underwent surgery and was still unable to work out for teams in late March, 2013, but doctors feel he will recover in time for July NFL camp.
4.64 in the 40-yard dash…1.61 10-yard dash…2.59 20-yard dash…4.10 20-yard shuttle…
11.44 60-yard shuttle…6.89 three-cone drill…34-inch vertical jump…9'10" broad jump… 420-pound bench press…Bench pressed 225 pounds 28 times…540-pound squat…445-pound power clean…32 ½-inch arm length…10 ½-inch hands…77 1/8-inch wingspan.
Mauti attended Mandeville (La.) High School, playing football for head coach Guy LeCompte while graduating with a 3.0 grade point average…Rated the third-best middle linebacker prospect in the prep ranks by ESPN (placed 58th overall on the ESPN Top 150 team)…Received a four-star prospect rating from Rivals.com, as the Louisiana Top 40 (ranked eighth overall) talent was ranked fourth in the nation by that recruiting service among the nation's linebackers having the "best instincts."...Received four-star prospect status and ranked ninth among the nation's line-backers, according to Scout.com…The 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl participant helped the Skippers compile a 10-3 record in 2007…The All-Class 5A and All-District VI choice registered 24 tackles-for-loss, including four sacks, among his 121 tackles during that campaign. He also returned two interceptions for touchdowns and also recovered a pair of fumbles…As a junior, Mauti played on both sides of the ball for a 6-5 unit…Some of his better prep performances came vs. Denham Springs, where he hauled in a pass for a 10-yard touchdown. He also paced the Skippers in tackles in each of the Walker (ten hits), St. Paul (five of nine tackles were for losses) and Slidell (13 tackles, 3 for loss)…Signed his national letter-of-intent to attend Penn State on June 24th, 2007, spurning scholarship offers from Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana State, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Oregon and Tulane.
Mauti graduated in December, 2011 with a degree in Labor and Employment Relations. He is presently enrolled at Penn State and scheduled to earn a second degree in December, 2012…Son of Nancy and Rich Mauti…Rich was a member of the Penn State football team from 1975-76, where he competed as a wide receiver and return specialist. His 100-yard kickoff return in the 1975 Temple game ranks as the second-longest in school history, topped by a 101-yard runback by Chuck Peters vs. New York University in 1940. Rich's kickoff return average of 28.0 yards in 1975 still ranks as the fifth-best season average in school history. He led the Nittany Lions in kickoff returns and receiving (17 for 208 yards) in 1976, as his 70-yard touchdown grab of a John Andress pass vs. Iowa that season was the tenth-longest reception by a Penn State player in the history of the program at the time of the catch. Rich went on to play in the National Football League for the New Orleans Saints 1977-83) and Washington Redskins (1984), appearing in a total of 95 games, as the reserve receiver mostly handled return chores. He finished his NFL career with 21 catches for 314 yards (14.95 ypc) and two touchdowns (both coming as a Saint in 1978; a 16-yarder vs. Cleveland and a 5-yard grab vs. Pittsburgh). He had 76 punt returns for 612 yards (8.12 avg), averaging a career-high 10.1 yards for the Saints in 1980. He also ran back 125 kick-offs for 2.852 yards (22.82 avg), as his best season came in 1980, where he averaged 25.7 yards (averaged at least 20 yards per kickoff return through his first four NFL seasons) on 31 returns. Rich is presently a real estate broker in Mandeville, Louisiana, and the Queens, New York native and East Meadow High School product is the founder of the Rich Mauti Cancer Fund, a voluntary, a 501c3 non-profit organization designed to raise money for cancer research, education and screenings, with all funds to be utilized in the State of Louisiana; the state, by the way, with the highest incident rate in the nation for several major types of cancer. This was created in 1981, to honor Rich's father, who succumbed to lung cancer on November 16th, 1979. The Rich Mauti Cancer Fund assures that all funds raised would remain locally with no administrative costs. After 26 years the annual Rich Mauti Scramble Against Cancer Golf Tournament had its final event on May 20th, 2005. Their main fundraising event is now the Annual Rich Mauti Cancer Fund Tennis Classic which will be held the second week in April each year at Stone Creek Club & Spa. Other sources of revenue are generated from corporate, individual and memorial donations. Over the years, contributions through the community included donations to help build the local Ronald McDonald House and grants to various cancer research teams. Their Individual Needs Program administered through Hospital Drug Store (local pharmacist) provides assistance, medication and supplements to cancer patients. They also funded a skin cancer prevention program through the Louisiana Cancer Consortium to provide daily information on the levels of ultraviolet radiation from the sun…Rich's oldest son, and Michael's brother, Patrick, was also a reserve wide receiver and special teams coverage performer during his playing days at Penn State (2005-09). Patrick's only reception for the Nittany Lions was a 4-yard grab vs. Michigan State in 2008, but as a senior in 2009, he recorded eight tackles (3 solos) that included a pair of stops in each of the Iowa and Eastern Illinois contests…Patrick's and Michael's sister, Rachel, was a standout volleyball player, competing for the Southern Spikers and for Mandeville High School before going on to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Rachel lettered four times in volleyball during her prep days, leading the team to the 2005 Louisiana High School Athletic Association state title before playing in the LHSAA All-Star Game. She received All-District V honors in 2004 and '05, in addition to being named the Most Valuable Player at the 2000 Northshore Freshman Tournament and at the 2003 St. Tammany Parish High School Tournament. She started 28 games as an outside hitter for Louisiana-Lafayette in 2006, finishing second on the team with 262 kills, fourth with 41 blocked assists and fourth with 43 total blocks. She had a season-best seventeen kills vs. Tulsa, sixteen more vs. Arkansas-Little Rock and posted a total of eight double-doubles for the season while coming up with a season-best 23 digs in the Tulsa clash. She played in ten games before injuring her knee in 2007, returning to play in five more contests. She had a season-high eight kills vs. High Point as a sophomore…Born Michael D. Mauti on 1/19/90 in New Orleans, Louisiana…Resides in Mandeville, Louisiana.
Offensive lineman Jeff Baca has played guard and tackle during games and even got some limited work…