LB Mauti is national player of the week

Michael Mauti grabbed the nation's attention with his recent play. Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Michael Mauti was named the Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week today after a performance where he likely made his case by the third quarter.

He finished with two interceptions, one forced fumble and half a sack to go along with six tackles. Mauti's crucial first pick came in the closing seconds of the first half when Illinois was just four yards shy of the end zone; he returned the ball 99 yards to his opponent's 1-yard line.

Mauti is the first Big Ten player to win a national Walter Camp award this season. He joins West Virginia's Geno Smith, who was named offensive player of the week. Smith finished 45-of-51 for 656 yards and eight touchdowns.

So far this season, Mauti has 48 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and 2.5 tackles-for-loss. He also has a team-leading four pass deflections and two break-ups.