The moment that most Penn State football fans were waiting for this weekend is here.
Former Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti will be NFL teammates with Gerald Hodges after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the 7th round of the NFL Draft with the 213th overall pick. Hodges was selected earlier this afternoon in the fourth round by the Vikings.
Mauti cemented his legacy as a Nittany Lion during a standout senior season both on and off the field. On the gridiron, he appeared in 11 games before suffering a torn ACL early on against Indiana in November. He recorded 95 tackles, four tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and three interceptions.
Mauti’s best performance came in a 35-7 thrashing of Illinois in late September that saw him force three turnovers including two interceptions, one of which was returned for 99 yards down to the Illini 1-yard line.
Even before the 2012 campaign got underway though, Mauti emerged as an emotional leader for the Nittany Lions and was never shy about sharing his thoughts on the NCAA sanctions, Mark Emmert, Illinois coach Tim Beckman coming to campus to recruit players, and anything else surrounding the program late in the summer.
He will join a Vikings squad that finished in second place in the NFC North last season and will work under the legendary Mike Singletary, who currently holds the title of Vikings linebacker coach.
Mauti is the third Penn State player to be picked in the 2013 draft. In addition to Hodges, defensive tackle Jordan Hill was selected by the Seattle Seahawks last night in the third round. Former center Matt Stankiewitch is another Penn State player who could possibly hear his name called as the final round of the draft concludes.
Originally from Mandeville, Louisiana, Mauti’s Penn State career spanned five seasons and included three major knee injuries along the way. He will continue his ACL rehab knowing he is now an NFL Draft pick and member of the Vikings along with his college teammate.
Update: 6:30 p.m. — Hodges decided to capture the moment with the following tweet:
I think it should be illegal for me and Mauti to be on the same team again but hey I don’t make the rules we just abide by them!!!! #yesss
— Gerald Hodges (@g_hodges6) April 27, 2013