The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

January 31, 2013

Penn State’s McGloin, Mauti prep for draft in own way

STATE COLLEGE — Matt McGloin went Hollywood. Michael Mauti went home to Louisiana.

Miles from the campus they called home for five years, the two Penn State stars have taken different routes to prepare for their shots at the NFL. After helping to lead the Nittany Lions to a surprising 8-4 season, they began to focus on the next level ... in their own way.

“The weather is great,” McGloin, a Scranton native, joked about training in southern California. “A lot better than the 6-degree weather back home.”

There was little time to party or hit the beach, though. McGloin, a quarterback who had a six-day-a-week workout schedule, is scheduled to play in the “Texas vs. The Nation” all-star game Saturday in Allen, Texas.

“Just landed. Can’t wait to start playing ball again,” McGloin posted on Twitter this week. It would be his first action since the emotional 24-21 win over Wisconsin in the season finale Nov. 24.

Mauti, a linebacker, has been training back in Louisiana. A stellar senior season ended early after Mauti had to miss the finale with a left knee injury. Previous injuries – one to each knee – cut short two seasons in Mauti’s career.

He declined to give more specifics on his knee, other than saying that things were going well while training for the NFL Combine. He’s already tried to make a good impression with the personal touch of sending hand-written notes to all 32 NFL general managers.

“Feedback,” he said, “has been positive so far.”

The stoic Mauti embraced a high-profile leadership role during the challenging 2012 season, working with fellow seniors Michael Zordich and Jordan Hill to help keep most of the team together after the NCAA handed down strict sanctions in July. Mauti will be known as one of the best leaders in the history of the program, but he sought a change of scenery after the draining season.

Mauti was a known commodity when he arrived at Penn State in 2008, becoming a key reserve and special teams player in a freshman year that foreshadowed his future contributions to the program.

The rags-to-riches story of McGloin – Mauti’s freshman year roommate – is now well known throughout Pennsylvania. McGloin climbed from a walk-on under former coach Joe Paterno to record-setting starting quarterback in the spiced-up passing attack in 2012 under first-year coach Bill O’Brien, the former offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots.

A year for McGloin that included school records for career touchdown passes and single-season passing yards ended with the senior winning the Burlsworth Trophy, an award given to the top college player who started his career as a walk-on.

“I’ve run New England’s offense for a year,” said McGloin, as if running off bullet points from his resume. “I’ve been around an NFL practice, day in and day out.”

After the surprising success of his senior year, the confident quarterback headed to Los Angeles for offseason workouts. He said the workout facility also hosted notable prospects like Alabama offensive lineman Chance Warmack and Oregon running back Kenjon Barner.

McGloin was focusing on combine drills like 40-yard dash starts and the broad jump. Throwing mechanics were important areas of concentration, too.

“Finishing throws,” McGloin said, “being more balanced and doing a lot with my core and legs for throwing than using my arm.”

He might have a longshot chance at getting drafted, though analysts have predicted McGloin could sign on as a free agent.

Of course, McGloin has already proven he can overcome long odds to succeed at quarterback.

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