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July 12, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; - Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti (Mandeville, La.) has been named to the Watch List for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented to the nation's top defensive player.
The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the Charlotte Touchdown Club have awarded the Nagurski Trophy annually since 1993.
A redshirt junior this fall, Mauti will be a leader for the defense, which returns seven starters. Despite missing all or parts of four games last year with injuries, he finished fifth on the team with 67 tackles. A 2011 pre-season first-team All-Big Ten selection, the "Linebacker U." standout started seven games last year, recording 5.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.
Mauti recorded a career-high 11 tackles, with 3.0 TFL, in the historic comeback win over Northwestern to earn Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week accolades. The former Mandeville High School All-American broke his career-high in tackles in three consecutive games last season, topped by the effort against the Wildcats in Coach Joe Paterno's 400th win.
The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 17. The Nagurski Trophy winner is chosen from five finalists who are part of the FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects the 25-man team and eventually the Nagurski finalists. The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet will be on Dec. 12 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.
The Nittany Lions return 41 letterwinners and 15 starters for the 2011 season, (7 offense, 7 defense, 1 specialist), as well as 17 players that have starting experience. Penn State opens its 125th season Sept. 3 vs. Indiana State in Beaver Stadium and Alabama visits Happy Valley on Sept. 10 (3:30 p.m. kick) for the first time since 1989. All Penn State fans are encouraged to wear white to the Alabama game.
Penn State Football season tickets are available. The 2011 season ticket application is available online at www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets or fans can get information by calling Penn State Athletics Customer Relations at 1-800-NITTANY (648-8269) Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m-5:00 p.m.