PHILADELPHIA - A three-time All-Ivy offensive lineman for the University of Pennsylvania football team, Greg Van Roten, W'12, signed a free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers on Monday. He and the Packers players reported to training camp in Green Bay, Wisc., on Wednesday. The first practice for the 13-time NFL champions is Thursday morning.
Van Roten started every game for the Quakers in the last three years. A 2012 Wharton graduate, Van Roten won two Ivy titles with the Quakers and anchored an offensive line that led the Ivy League in fewest sacks allowed in 2009 and 2010.
"I'm so happy for Greg," said Penn offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Jon McLaughlin. "This opportunity is a real testament to him and all the hard work he's put in. Coming out of high school, he was told by several coaches that he couldn't play at the Division I level, and he always used that as motivation. With the help and support of his family, teammates and our strength and conditioning staff, he transformed himself into one of the most physical and powerful linemen we've had in my time at Penn."
The 2011 unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection was forced to switch between the tackle and guard position midway through his senior season due to injuries along the line, but due to his versatility, Penn's offense did not miss a beat. Junior quarterback Billy Ragone finished with the fifth-best individual offensive season in program history (2,284 yards of total offense).
Van Roten, who was also an All-Ivy honoree as a sophomore (honorable mention) and junior (first team), anchored the top rushing and scoring offense in the Ivy League in 2010. That year, the Quakers finished with the sixth-best rushing attack in the FCS and the second-best rushing season in program history.
A team captain in 2011, Van Roten attended the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets rookie mini-camps in May. He was also invited to the Packers' mini-camp, but was unable to attend as it conflicted with the timing of Jets camp. Van Roten was invited to workout for the Packers earlier this week and earned a spot on the training camp roster.
Van Roten, along with the remaining 2011 Penn seniors finished their careers with a 28-12 record overall, including a 23-5 mark against the Ivy League. They won two Ivy League titles, were just the third team to ever put together back-to-back undefeated Ivy seasons, and won 18 consecutive Ivy League games - the second-longest streak in league history.