Mauti Discusses Florida Visit

Michael Mauti has close ties to Penn State. His father played there before playing in the NFL and his brother is a current walk-on with the Nittany Lions. But the Louisiana linebacker has connections to the state of Florida as well. He has family in Tampa, and his most recent visit to them included his first ever trip to Gainesville.

Michael Mauti is a rising outside linebacker from Mandeville (La.). At 6-2, 220-pounds, Mauti has been getting lot of attention from the Florida coaching staff, and he lists the Gators in his top three.

"Oklahoma, Penn State and Florida in no particular order," Mauti said. "I can't pinpoint one or the other because they are always switching back and forth. If anyone else pops in there, I don't know how that will really shake out, but right now those are the guys that I am further evaluating."

Mauti checked out the Sooners in early-May, and he is taking a visit to Penn State on June 21. But this past week, all of his focus was on the Gators.

"We meet with Coach [Urban] Meyer and Coach [Charlie] Strong and a couple other coaches," Mauti said. "We did the tour and talked with a few academic advisors. We ate at one of the dining places. I got to spend a lot of time with them. I got to meet Tim Tebow and the whole gang. It was a cool trip."

Mauti's first impressions of Gainesville were very positive.

"It's a cool place," Mauti said. "It's awesome. Everything there is top shelf. One thing that really struck me was academics and I didn't really know about it until I met with the academic people. They are really high on academics; they're not just a football school. They take a lot of pride in it, and that was something that definitely caught my eye and is making me think a little bit harder."

It was also the first time Mauti met face-to-face with Meyer. His impression of the Gator head coach was someone who garners a lot of respect from the people around him.

"When he needs something to get done, it gets done right there," Mauti said. "People respect him. There is a special relationship that the players have with the coaches and the coaches have with the players. They're not sitting in their high chairs looking down at the place. They are equal and they're walking around and joking around with everyone. He knows everyone's story and where they came from. He has a special relationship with his players. He's a smart guy and knows how to win. He's going to continue to have success because he knows how to do it right."

Mauti also spent some time with Strong who would be his position coach should he chose the Gators.

"He's very reserved," he said. "He's really not outgoing or outspoken, but he's always thinking. When he says something, everybody listens. I like him a lot. He's a really smart guy. He really knows the game."

The biggest thing that Mauti took away from the Florida visit was the chemistry between the entire coaching staff.

"The coaching staff has been together for three years, and none of them appear to be going anywhere anytime soon," he said. "That's always a plus. Everyone's real close. They're not talking bad about each other or anything like that. They are all friends and hanging out. It's just a good environment."

Oklahoma and Florida are recruiting Mauti's services the hardest, and so is Penn State in a different way.

"They're really not that aggressive," he said. "That's their style to be more laid back. I talked with coach [Mike] McQueary and they seem to be very interested, and I'm one of the guys they're coming after. They're not aggressive though in terms of sending me texts all the time."

Mauti would like to have his decision made before the end of the summer, so he is only planning on taking an official visit to the school he is committed to.

"I want to get this done with and out of the way, so I can have it over with before my season," Mauti said. "There are going to be some tough choices. I'm just now starting to realize that it's going to be tougher and tougher to narrow these places down."

Mauti received a new offer from Nebraska this week as well.

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