Minnesota Vikings Select LinebackerU. Standouts Hodges and Mauti in NFL Draft
April 27, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; April 27, 2013 - Penn State standout linebackers Gerald Hodges (Paulsboro, N.J.), and Michael Mauti (Mandeville, La.) were selected Saturday during the final day of the 2013 National Football League Draft.
The Minnesota Vikings selected two-time All-Big Ten honoree Hodges in the fourth round, the No. 120 overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft. Minnesota selected first-team All-American Mauti in the seventh round.
The Seattle Seahawks selected All-Big Ten defensive tackle Jordan Hill (Steelton) in the third round. The trio gives Penn State 33 NFL Draft choices since 2006, 15 of whom have been picked in the first three rounds. Nine LinebackerU. standouts have been NFL Draft choices since 2006, all of whom are on current rosters.
A total of 332 Nittany Lions have been selected all-time in the NFL Draft, including 36 in the first round. Penn State had at least three NFL Draft picks for the 15th time in its 20 seasons of Big Ten Conference competition.
Hodges and Mauti become the seventh and eighth Nittany Lions selected all-time by Minnesota. Tight end Mickey Shuler was the last Penn State player selected by the Vikings in 2010 (7th round). At least two Penn State teammates have been selected by the same team in 18 NFL Drafts.
The LinebackerU. tandem played an instrumental role for a 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.
A 2013 NFL Scouting Combine participant, Hodges earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2011 and second-team accolades in 2012. A starter in all 25 games the past two years, Hodges was No. 4 in the Big Ten with 109 tackles last year and became just the sixth Nittany Lion with multiple 100-tackle seasons. A semifinalist for the 2012 Butkus Award, Hodges was selected the 2012 New Jersey Division I College Player of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Southern New Jersey, as well as by the Brooks-Irvine Memorial Football Club of South Jersey. Hodges was co-recipient of the Coaches Award at the Nittany Lions' team banquet.
Hodges led the Nittany Lions with seven pass breakups and was tied for second on the squad with two interceptions. He also ranked third with 8.5 tackles for loss, while adding one sack and one forced fumble.
The former Paulsboro High School standout made a season-high 14 tackles vs. Ohio State last year, with a 10-yard sack. He tied his season-high with 14 hits at Nebraska, including 2.0 TFL and a pass break-up. Hodges was selected Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for third time in his career after helping Penn State to 39-28 win over No. 24 Northwestern. He recorded 11 tackles, made 1.5 TFL, two pass break-ups and forced a fumble late in game to end any NU comeback hopes.
Hodges made 249 career tackles, recording 21.0 tackles for losses and 5.5 sacks, with three interceptions, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
A 2012 Penn State co-captain and passionate leader, Mauti was the 2012 Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year.
Also a 2013 NFL Scouting Combine participant, 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. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors by the coaches, media, BTN.com and ESPN.com, was selected the Nittany Lions' 2012 Outstanding Senior Player. Mauti was a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week in 2012 (three career).
Mauti was the only Big Ten player ranked in the top 10 in the conference in tackles (6th, 95), interceptions (7th, 3) and forced fumbles (3rd, 3). He also led the Big Ten in interception return yards (125). Mauti recorded 4.0 TFL, 2.5 sacks (minus-25), a team-high 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 Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after he made six tackles and grabbed two interceptions in the 35-7 win at Illinois, including a school record 99-yard return.
Mauti made 209 career tackles, recording 13.5 tackles for losses, with four interceptions, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
There were 30 former Nittany Lions with NFL teams at the end of the 2012 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.