Mauti, Hodges go to Vikings
BY MIKE GROSS, Sports Columnist
Throughout their college careers, Mike Mauti and Gerald Hodges had a friendly competition that, they believed, made them both better players.
That isn't why the Minnesota Vikings drafted both Penn State linebackers Saturday, of course.
But, as Hodges tweeted Saturday might, "I think it should be illegal for me and Mauti to be on the same team again but hey I don't make the rules we just abide by them!!!!''
Steady, fella. Not illegal, but, perhaps, a useful side benefit.
Hodges went in the fourth round. Mauti, because of three knee-ligament tears, lasted until the seventh and final round.
Hodges had a monster 2011 season, with 106 tackles, and was named first team All-Big Ten. He made the second team last season, and again eclipsed 100 tackles, but his calling card as a pro is expected to be his pass-coverage skills, despite a mediocre 4.78 40 time at the NFL scouting combine.
Mauti was first-team All-Big Ten last season, with 96 tackles, and got some all-America mentions. He missed the entire 2009 season and most of the 2011 season with ligament tears.
He was projected as a second- or third-round pick before the latest ligament tear, which came in Penn State's second-to-last game of 2012 with Indiana.
His teammates wore Mauti's number, 42, on their helmets for the season finale with Wisconsin.
The Vikings went 10-6 last year and made the playoffs. They are widely seen as having aced this draft, especially by grabbing Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, considered a top 10 player overall, with the 23rd pick.
The Vikings' linebackers coach is Mike Singletary, the Hall of Fame Chicago Bears' LB.
Oklahoma wide receiver Justin Brown, who transferred out of Penn State after NCAA sanctions stemming from the Jerry Sandusky scandal, was chosen on the sixth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers Saturday.
Brown had 73 catches for 879 yards for the Sooners. His quarterback at Oklahoma, Landry Jones, was the Steelers' fourth-round pick.
Four Penn State players who went undrafted had signed with NFL teams as free agents as of press time Saturday: Center Matt Stankiewitch and cornerback Stephon Morris, with the New England Patriots; offensive tackle Mike Farrell, with the Steelers; and fullback Mike Zordich, with the Carolina Panthers.
Several other Nittany Lions, notably quarterback Matt McGloin but also, perhaps, defensive linemen Sean Stanley and James Terry, may sign with NFL clubs in the next day or so.