Linebacker Michael Mauti will miss the Penn State Nittany Lions regular season finale this weekend against the Wisconsin Badgers due to a left knee injury. Mauti was carted off the field on Saturday during Penn State’s 45-22 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers. He tore his ACL in the same knee last year, which caused him to miss nine games. Head coach Bill O’Brien confirmed on Monday that Mauti’s college career has indeed come to an end since the Nittany Lions are not eligible to play in a bowl.
Mauti led the Nittany Lions this season with 96 tackles, three forced fumbles and three interceptions. He is also a semi-finalist for the Butkus Award. In addition to his play on the field, Penn State will also be losing a great leader and positive influence in the locker room. Mauti stepped up in the offseason and made a speech to his teammates in hopes that they would not transfer due to the heavy sanctions that were levied by the NCAA. In the end, more than 90% of the Penn State roster stuck around.
O’Brien said Mauti was one of the most special players he has been around, and that is high praise coming from someone who has coached the likes of Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Wes Welker.
Mauti was a big reason why Penn State has shocked a lot of people around the nation by going 7-4 so far in 2012. Many felt that with all the reduced scholarships and transfers that the Nittany Lions would be hard pressed to win more than a couple of games.
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