Perhaps no player at this year’s NFL Combine has dealt with that word more than Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti over his college career.
From three season ending knee injuries in five years, to the death of his coach and a national scandal that ended any chance for postseason during his senior season, Mauti continued to take the high road through every obstacle.
Given the choice to transfer to another school following the July 2012 scandal, Mauti elected to finish what he started in State College.
“In one of the most unprecedented circumstances, we had a group of guys, our senior class in particular, who just bought in to what we were saying and our message, that we can take it as opportunity, do something special with the season,” Mauti said of Penn State’s 8-4 campaign this past year.
Mauti turned in an All-American final season at Penn State but it was cut short after he was carted off the field following a knee injury on Nov. 17.
The knee injury was the third in five seasons for Mauti’s and at this year’s combine, his medical records were a frequent topic.
Will he be ready for training camp?
NFL bloodlines for Mauti come from his father, Rich, who played eight seasons in the league.
Following his final season in State College, the younger Mauti knew NFL teams would have a plethora of questions regarding his time at Penn state.
He decided that the best way to address that would be a handwritten letter to all 32 teams, something that made a lasting impression with NFL personnel.
“I wanted them to kind of hear from the horse’s mouth, where my mindset was and what I plan on doing,” Mauti said of the letters. “There’s a lot of rumors flying around, a lot of misinformation. We just wanted them to hear from me, and where my mind is at about getting back … I was going to put myself in a situation to be healthy and play in the fall.”
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