PSU FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK

Penn State football notebook: Quartet invited to NFL Draft Combine

gciprian@centredaily.comFebruary 8, 2013 

Four former Penn State players are receiving a chance to run, jump and push their way up NFL Draft boards.

Linebackers Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti, defensive tackle Jordan Hill and center Matt Stankiewitch were selected to participate in this month’s NFL Draft Combine in Indianapolis.

The showcase begins Feb. 20 and the NFL will air four days of drills from Feb. 23-26.

Stankiewitch will be the first member of the quartet to perform before coaches, scouts and league executives. Offensive linemen participate in various drills on Feb. 23. Hodges, Mauti and Hill are scheduled to workout with the linebackers and defensive linemen on Feb. 25.

Measurable drills include the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill and shuttle run.

The NFL invited 333 prospects to this year’s combine.

The combine will mark Hodges, Hill and Stankiewitch’s second appearance in a scouting showcase.

Hodges and Stankiewitch participated in last month’s East-West Shrine Game and Hill competed in the Senior Bowl.

Mauti didn’t play in a postseason all-star game because of a knee injury suffered in the first half of a victory against Indiana last November.

The quartet helped Penn State finish 8-4 in its first season under major NCAA sanctions.

A strong combine performance can boost a player’s draft stock.

None of the four Penn State players invited to the event are currently projected as first-round draft picks.

Gilliam switching positions

Garry Gilliam made a revealing announcement on his Twitter account Thursday. Gilliam told more than 6,000 followers he’s now playing tackle.

Gilliam spent his first four years at Penn State at tight end. A serious knee injury forced him to miss most of two seasons. Gilliam is listed as a senior, but he will likely receive a sixth-year medical hardship season, giving him two seasons to develop at tackle.

Penn State is loaded at tight end. Kyle Carter, Matt Lehman and Jesse James played key parts in the 2012 offense, Brent Wilkerson redshirted last season and freshman Adam Breneman is regarded as one of the nation’s top recruits. Mike Farrell’s graduation leaves an opening at right tackle. Sophomore Donovan Smith returns at left tackle. Senior Adam Gress rotated between the sides last season.

Brown looking for a job

Former Penn State and Williamsport High School standout Gary Brown is searching for a new job.

The Cleveland Browns hired John Settle from the Carolina Panthers to become their running backs coach. Settle worked with new Browns coach Rob Chudzinski in Carolina.

Brown spent four years on the Browns’ staff. He mentored 2012 first-round draft pick Trent Richardson and 2010 second-rounder Montario Hardesty last season.

Brown, a former NFL 1,000-yard rusher, methodically rose through the coaching ranks, working at Williamsport High School and Division III Lycoming College and Susquehanna University before landing at Rutgers in 2008. Cleveland hired Brown in 2009.

 

Follow Guy Cipriano on Twitter @cdtguy.

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