30 Seconds With… Greg Van Roten

Greg Van Roten (left) originally signed with the Packers practice squad but has since been moved to the active roster.

Those who watched the Giants crush the Packers on Sunday Night Football this week may have caught a glimpse of former Penn football player and current Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Greg Van Roten. As we wrote two weeks ago, the 2011 grad currently serves as a backup center and guard and is taking practice snaps with the first team (see story), but he's also been playing on special teams.

We took the time to question Van Roten on some of non-Packers questions in this edition of 30 Seconds With:

Do you have Aaron Rodgers’ cell phone number?
No, I don’t think anybody has that.

Best food in Green Bay?
Cheese Cake Heaven. We all go there for the sandwiches, but they’re famous for dessert.

What do you miss most about Penn?
Where do I start? All my friends mostly, but also being in a city like Philly. Never thought I’d say that, but it’s true. I miss Philly.

Best dancer on the team?
Donald Driver, he won Dancing with the Stars.

Tim Tebow or Mark Sanchez?
Ha, neither.

Green Bay Packers sign Greg Van Roten

Three-time All-Ivy offensive lineman and recent graduate Greg Van Roten has signed a free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers.

Van Roten will attend the Packers training camp, which runs from Thursday, July 26, to Tuesday, August 28, and includes preseason games against the San Diego Chargers, the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Though Van Roten will face unprecedented challenges to his capabilities on the field, his performance as a Quaker, particularly in his junior and senior seasons, certainly helped him impress NFL scouts on Penn’s Pro Day back in March.

On the Pro Day, at which Van Roten’s teammates Luke Nawrocki, Erik Rask and Matt Hamscher also participated, Van Roten put up numbers that were on par with results reported from the NFL Regional Combine hosted at the New York Jets facility.

In the 40-yard dash, Van Roten ran a 5.06 seconds, compared to the average combine time of 5.11 seconds. His vertical jump reached 34.5 inches, two inches better than the combine average of 32.5.

As a result of his Pro Day performance and stellar junior and senior seasons as a Quaker, Van Roten was invited to play at three NFL mini-camps in May. The invites came from the Chargers, the Jets and the Packers, and he chose to attend the San Diego and New York camps, as the Packers camp was the same weekend as the New York camp.

In his senior season, even despite his switch from tackle to guard midway through the season, Van Roten anchored the fifth-best offense in program history (2,284 total yards of offense).

Van Roten was also an All-Ivy honoree on the 2010 squad that had the highest rushing and scoring offense in the Ivy League. That year, the Red and Blue also finished with the sixth-best rushing attack in the FCS and the second-best rushing season in program history.

Van Roten finished his Penn career with a 28-12 record overall and a 23-5 Ivy League mark. The Class of 2012 won two Ivy titles and were just the third team ever to string together back-to-back undefeated Ivy seasons.