Highlight tapes are valuable to college coaches to scout prospects, but Michael Mauti wants those coaches to know more about him than what they can view on a few minutes of film.
Like how he goes all out, even late in the game when the outcome is already decided. Or how the Mandeville (La.) linebacker contributes on special teams. Or how he never takes a play off. The stuff that cannot be accurately reflected on a highlight tape is what Mauti wants to show college coaches - but it's likely they already know.
Florida, Oklahoma, Penn State, Arkansas, Oregon, Ole Miss and others have offered Mauti, who finished his junior season with 121 tackles (24 for loss), four sacks and two interceptions. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound prospect took an unofficial visit to Oklahoma this past weekend. He said he plans to be in Gainesville in early June and a trip to Penn State this summer is a possibility.
"Last year was my first year at linebacker so I still have a lot more potential," Mauti said. I always try to play the whole game all out. I feel like if (coaches) came to see me in person they'd see that. Most of the coaches have only seen the highlights. I'm not complaining, but if they were to watch what I do on special teams and going all out all the time and even late in the fourth quarter, they'd see the consistency in my game."
Mauti, who bench presses 315 pounds, squats 425 and power cleans 355, said he is still in his evaluation stage but that the Gators are definitely in the mix. It seems Florida is also showing a good deal of interest as well.
"I've talked to (the Florida coaches) about whether I would redshirt or not and they said 'well, we think if you get in here and you're doing well, we might not redshirt you.' I might get some playing time at 'backer. Coach (John) Hevesy came to the school and he was talking to my coach. Coach (Charlie) Strong might come check me out in spring just to see me in person.
"Right now, I'm still in my evaluating stage. I want to take as many visits as I can. I'm going to get up to Florida. I just got back from Oklahoma and I'll probably go up to Penn State camp. I'll pick the good parts and the bad parts from each school and then try to make the most informed decision."
Said Mandeville coach Guy Lecompte: "You are talking about a kid who has unbelievable intensity and his motor never stops running. He goes full throttle both on and off the field. If you ask him to go get you a glass of water he will give you 110 percent to go get you that glass of water. He is a leader on and off the field. The other players certainly look up to him and respect him as the leader of the defense if not the entire team. You can count on him to do the right thing whether (the coaching staff is) around or not."