Ryan Groy is proficient in the University of Wisconsin football programís reputation for churning out NFL offensive linemen.
Now, he hopes to be the next one.
After idolizing the likes of Gabe Carimi, Bill Nagy and John Moffitt, the 6-foot-4Ĺ, 316-pound interior lineman took his first step toward the NFL on Wednesday when he spoke with 10 teams, including the Green Bay Packers.
Outside of the obvious ties between the Middleton native and the in-state professional football franchise, the Packers seem to have genuine interest in the Middleton native, who met with Green Bayís offensive line coach James Campen and left with favorable impression of the team.
After redshirting his freshman year, Groy went on to set a school record by playing in all 54 games with 33 starts, including all 13 at left guard where he was an All-Big Ten selection coaches selection.
Groy sees his strength being on the interior line Ė he started against Illinois at center in 2011 Ė but occasionally subbed in at tackle when it was required.
ďA lot of guys have asked me that and what I've told them mostly is the inside three. Thatís where I feel most comfortable,Ē Groy said. ďI feel very comfortable at guard/center. I told them if need be, I can play tackle. Iím not afraid to go out there. Iím not afraid to play it.Ē
The Packers could be in the market for someone like Groy following the release of center/guard Greg Van Roten and starting center Evan Dietrich-Smith bound for free agency. JC Tretter returns, but thereís not much depth there outside of Don Barclay and T.J. Lang, who have both snapped as a secondary position.
Growing up, Clevelandís perennial Pro Bowler Joe Thomas was a natural role model for Groy. However, he also took a liking to the way former Packers guard Daryn Colledge played the position.
He feels comfortable in the 315-320 range, but has played as heavy as 325 and as light as 310, feeling neither sluggish nor light at either weight.
ďIíve had a lot of experience, Iíve had a lot of reps, and played a lot of great players in college,Ē Groy said. ďI think thatís really going to help me at the next level and I think itís really going to help my film as coaches are watching it.Ē