Penn State football notebook: Mauti mum on petition plans for 6th year
Senior outside linebacker Michael Mauti, who couldn't play in his final game because of a knee injury sustained a week earlier, declined to discuss the severity of the injury after Penn State's 24-21 overtime win against Wisconsin on Saturday.
The fifth-year senior also did not address whether he will petition the NCAA for a sixth season of eligibility after his third season-ending knee injury.
“It's not for me to say right now,” Mauti said. “I just really want to keep the focus on this team.”
Penn State honored Mauti by wearing No. 42 on its helmets. Outside linebacker Gerald Hodges switched from No. 6 to No. 42 for the game, and Mauti said he had trouble putting into words what those gestures and this season meant to him.
“It's just been such a special thing to be a part of,” he said. “It's really been the most fun I've ever had fun playing.”
• Jesse James (South Allegheny) broke out in the second half of the season, catching 13 passes for 274 yards and four TDs in Penn State's final six games. James, who caught two passes for 2 yards and a score in the Nittany Lions' first six games, credited seniors such as Mauti for helping him during the team's off week. “They really put it on me how hard you have to practice,” James said, “and I carried that throughout the rest of the season.”
• Defensive coordinator Ted Roof said the leadership shown by the seniors will have a lasting impact on the program. “What we have to do moving forward is develop that same type of leadership,” Roof said. “(The underclassmen have) seen how it's supposed to look. ... It's not just words. They've seen that in action.”