Aurora’s James Mautino named Division III All-American

Hall graduate will participate in spring pro days

Aurora University's James Mautino of Spring Valley was named as a First-Team All-American by and a Second-Team All-American by the Associated Press.

James Mautino has been one of the top return specialists in the nation in the Division III football ranks for Aurora University.

The Hall High School product ranked first in punt return touchdowns last season, second in punt return average and second in combined kick return yards. He averaged 26.4 yards per punt return (501 yards) on 19 returns with three touchdowns and returned 18 kickoffs for 398 yards.

As a receiver, Mautino had 38 catches for 404 yards and two touchdowns while adding two rushing touchdowns for Division III′s second-ranked offense.

“I’ve always wanted to play in the NFL. Getting an opportunity to play football at the highest level is something I’ve worked toward my whole life.”

—  James Mautino, Hall graduate and Aurora University All-American

The former Hall Red Devil was recently recognized by the Associated Press as its All-America second-team all-purpose player. Previously, he was named by as a first-team All-American and selected as a first-team All-Region and first-team All-Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference selection.

He was also named to the D3 All-Academic Team.

“It’s always been one of my goals to become an All-American. I can’t thank my teammates enough for helping me achieve that goal,” Mautino said.

James Mautino

Mautino’s football career is not done quite yet. He will participate in the “Pro Days” in March at Northwestern, Illinois and Northern Illinois with an eye on playing at the next level.

“I’ll get my opportunity to showcase my skills and athleticism for whatever [NFL] teams are in attendance. I’ll be training with a few local guys in preparation for them,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to play in the NFL. Getting an opportunity to play football at the highest level is something I’ve worked toward my whole life.”

Over his collegiate career, the speedy Mautino had 1,219 return yards and five TDs on 68 punt returns and 794 yards on 41 kickoff returns. He also had 818 yards and eight touchdowns on 77 receptions and rushed for 179 yards on 25 attempts.

Mautino was a repeat BCR Player of the Year in 2017-18 and a first-team NewsTribune All-Area selection at Hall. He was named first-team Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Class 3A All-State and was an unanimous All-Three Rivers Conference Mississippi Division selection as offensive end, defensive back and return specialist.

Hall junior James Mautino looks for running room after hauling in a pass.

He is pursuing a Masters in Sports Management at Aurora, which he will receive this spring. He graduated with a business degree in May.

The Spartans posted an 11-1 record, the most wins in school history, with an 8-0 mark in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference and their eighth NCAA Division III playoff appearance. The NACC champions hosted the first home playoff game in program history, defeating Coe College 20-7 before falling to the Wisconsin-La Crosse 56-35.