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Feb. 7, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Four Penn State football student-athletes have been invited to participate in the National Football League's 2013 Scouting Combine, tied for the second-highest total in the Big Ten Conference.
The Nittany Lions participating in the event are: defensive tackle Jordan Hill (Steelton), linebacker Gerald Hodges (Paulsboro, N.J.), linebacker Michael Mauti (Mandeville, La.) and center Matt Stankiewitch (Orwigsburg).
The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine is set for February 20-26 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Hill, Hodges and Mauti were major contributors for Coach Bill O'Brien's defense that ranked second in the Big Ten and No. 16 nationally in scoring defense at 19.1 ppg, holding six teams to 17 or fewer points.
In his final game, co-captain Hill made a career-high 12 tackles, with two sacks and 3.0 TFL in the Nittany Lions' 24-21 overtime win over Wisconsin to earn the conference's weekly defensive honor.
A starter in all 25 games the past two years, Hodges was No. 4 in the Big Ten with 109 tackles. A semifinalist for the 2012 Butkus Award and a two-time All-Big Ten honoree, he led the team with seven pass breakups and was tied for second on the squad with two interceptions. The former Paulsboro High School standout also ranked third with 8.5 tackles for loss, while adding one forced fumble and one sack.
Hodges was selected the New Jersey Division I College Player of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Southern New Jersey for the second consecutive year and the 2012 Brooks-Irvine Memorial Football Club of South Jersey.
Mauti was selected a first-team All-American by ESPN and Phil Steele's College Football, giving Penn State 11 first-team All-Americans since 2005. The Nittany Lions' 97th first-team All-American, Mauti was a semifinalist for the 2012 Butkus Award and was the Big Ten Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors by the coaches, media, BTN.com and ESPN.com.
A team co-captain, Mauti was the only Big Ten player ranked in the top 10 in the conference in tackles (6th, 96), interceptions (7th, 3) and forced fumbles (3rd, 3). He also led the Big Ten in interception return yards (125). Mauti had 4.0 TFL, 2.5 sacks (minus-25), three interceptions, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and two pass break-ups. The former Mandeville High School All-American started the initial 11 games this season, suffering a knee injury in the first quarter vs. Indiana on Nov. 17 that ended his season. Mauti was selected the Nittany Lions' 2012 Outstanding Senior Player.
A first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches, BTN.com and ESPN.com, Stankiewitch started all 25 games the past two seasons. He was instrumental in helping the Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in total offense (437.0 ypg) in conference games and rank second in scoring offense (32.6 ppg) and second in pass offense (283.1 ypg) against Big Ten foes. Stankiewitch helped Penn State gain more than 500 yards of total offense three times in conference play, topped by 546 yards against Indiana, its highest total against a Big Ten foe in four years
One of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, Stankiewitch helped Matt McGloin break nine Penn State season and career passing records, Allen Robinson break the school season receptions mark (77) and Zach Zwinak to rush for 1,000 yards this season, gaining 100 yards or more in six Big Ten games. Stankiewitch played in the East-West Shrine Game in January.
The NFL Network and NFL.com will have coverage of the Scouting Combine daily from February 20-26.
The NFL Draft is scheduled for April 25-27, with the first round taking place on Thursday night.
There were 30 former Nittany Lions with NFL teams at the end of the regular season, placing Penn State in the top 15 nationally among schools in producing current NFL players.
Super Bowl XLVII marked the 42nd time in the Super Bowl's 47-game history that at least one Penn State alumnus was a member of one of the participating teams. All-Pro linebacker Navorro Bowman started for the San Francisco 49ers in the game and rookie linebacker Nate Stupar was a member of the 49ers' practice squad. Thirty-five former Nittany Lions have earned a total of 51 Super Bowl rings, most recently tackle Kareem McKenzie and defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy with the Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants.
A total of 329 Nittany Lions have been selected all-time in the NFL Draft, including 36 in the first round. In the 2012 NFL Draft, Penn State had at least four players selected for the 39th time in NFL Draft history.
Led by first-year coach O'Brien, the Bear Bryant, Maxwell Football Club and ESPN Coach of the Year, the Nittany Lions posted an 8-4 overall mark and finished second in the Big Ten Leaders Division with a 6-2 record. Penn State won eight of its final 10 games, with the only losses coming against division winners Ohio State and Nebraska. In the season finale, the Nittany Lions beat eventual Big Ten champion Wisconsin, 24-21, in overtime.
Season tickets are available for the 2013 season. The Nittany Lions will host three teams that finished in the 2012 BCS Top 25: Michigan (Oct. 12-Homecoming), Nebraska (Nov. 23) and Kent State (Sept. 21). Purdue, Illinois, UCF and Eastern Michigan also will visit Beaver Stadium this year. The Nittany Lions open the season Aug. 31 vs. Syracuse at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can go to www.GoPSUsports.com or call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Penn State Athletics is on Facebook (www.facebook.com/pennstatenittanylions) and Twitter (http://www.gopsusports.com/ot/twitter.html).
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