Penn State's Matt McGloin, Michael Mauti prep for NFL draft

Penn State teammates Matt McGloin (11) and Michael Mauti at media day in August. McGloin will play in an all-star game. Mauti wrote letters.
Penn State teammates Matt McGloin (11) and Michael Mauti at media day in August. McGloin will play in an all-star game. Mauti wrote letters. (AP)
Posted: February 05, 2013

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - 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 Los Angeles. "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, was preparing for the "Texas vs. The Nation" all-star game last Saturday in Allen, Texas, which The Nation won, 24-13.

"Just landed. Can't wait to start playing ball again," McGloin tweeted last week. The all-star game practices were his first action since the Lions' emotional 24-21 win over Wisconsin in the season finale on Nov. 24.

Mauti, a linebacker, has been training back in Mandeville, La. 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 scouting combine. He's already tried to make a good impression with the personal touch of sending handwritten notes to all 32 NFL general managers.

"Feedback has been positive so far," he said.

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 - he was Mauti's roommate their freshman year - is well known throughout Pennsylvania. McGloin climbed from a walk-on under the late Joe Paterno to record-setting starting quarterback in the spiced-up passing attack in 2012 under first-year coach Bill O'Brien, a 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 Southern California for offseason workouts. He said the Los Angeles workout facility also hosted notable prospects such as Alabama offensive lineman Chance Warmack and Oregon running back Kenjon Barner.

McGloin was focusing on combine drills such as 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.

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