STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - Four Penn State football student-athletes have been invited to participate in the National Football League's 2013 Scouting Combine, tied for the second-highest total in the Big Ten Conference.
The Nittany Lions participating in the event are: defensive tackle Jordan Hill (Steelton), linebacker Gerald Hodges (Paulsboro, N.J.), linebacker Michael Mauti (Mandeville, La.) and center Matt Stankiewitch (Orwigsburg).
The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine is set for February 20-26 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Hill, Hodges and Mauti were major contributors for Coach Bill O'Brien's defense that ranked second in the Big Ten and No. 16 nationally in scoring defense at 19.1 ppg, holding six teams to 17 or fewer points.
A 2012 second-team All-American by Athlon Sports, Hill earned first-team All-Big Ten honors by the coaches, media panel, BTN.com and ESPN.com. Hill was fourth on the team with 64 tackles, second with 4.5 sacks (minus-32) and tied for third with 8.5 tackles for loss this season. The former Steelton-Highspire High School standout also had one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. A two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honoree this past season, his tackle total was No. 3 among Big Ten defensive linemen.
In his final game, co-captain Hill made a career-high 12 tackles, with two sacks and 3.0 TFL in the Nittany Lions' 24-21 overtime win over Wisconsin to earn the conference's weekly defensive honor.
A starter in all 25 games the past two years, Hodges was No. 4 in the Big Ten with 109 tackles. A semifinalist for the 2012 Butkus Award and a two-time All-Big Ten honoree, he led the team with seven pass breakups and was tied for second on the squad with two interceptions. The former Paulsboro High School standout also ranked third with 8.5 tackles for loss, while adding one forced fumble and one sack.
Hodges was selected the New Jersey Division I College Player of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Southern New Jersey for the second consecutive year and the 2012 Brooks-Irvine Memorial Football Club of South Jersey.
Mauti was selected a first-team All-American by ESPN and Phil Steele's College Football, giving Penn State 11 first-team All-Americans since 2005. The Nittany Lions' 97th first-team All-American, Mauti was a semifinalist for the 2012 Butkus Award and was the Big Ten Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors by the coaches, media, BTN.com and ESPN.com.
A team co-captain, Mauti was the only Big Ten player ranked in the top 10 in the conference in tackles (6th, 96), interceptions (7th, 3) and forced fumbles (3rd, 3). He also led the Big Ten in interception return yards (125). Mauti had 4.0 TFL, 2.5 sacks (minus-25), three interceptions, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and two pass break-ups. The former Mandeville High School All-American started the initial 11 games this season, suffering a knee injury in the first quarter vs. Indiana on Nov. 17 that ended his season. Mauti was selected the Nittany Lions' 2012 Outstanding Senior Player.
A first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches, BTN.com and ESPN.com, Stankiewitch started all 25 games the past two seasons. He was instrumental in helping the Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in total offense (437.0 ypg) in conference games and rank second in scoring offense (32.6 ppg) and second in pass offense (283.1 ypg) against Big Ten foes. Stankiewitch helped Penn State gain more than 500 yards of total offense three times in conference play, topped by 546 yards against Indiana, its highest total against a Big Ten foe in four years
One of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, Stankiewitch helped Matt McGloin break nine Penn State season and career passing records, Allen Robinson break the school season receptions mark (77) and Zach Zwinak to rush for 1,000 yards this season, gaining 100 yards or more in six Big Ten games. Stankiewitch played in the East-West Shrine Game in January.
The NFL Network and NFL.com will have coverage of the Scouting Combine daily from February 20-26.
The NFL Draft is scheduled for April 25-27, with the first round taking place on Thursday night.
--PSU Athletic Communications--