Green Bay Press Gazette: A Hillsdale Man?

Green Bay Press Gazette, February 26, 2010,

A Hillsdale man

Could Jared Veldheer become the second player from Hillsdale College in Michigan to play for the Packers? Maybe.

The first was kicker Chester Marcol, who was the Packers’ kicker from 1972 to 1980.

Veldheer is an interesting left tackle prospect out of Division II Hillsdale. He measured in Thursday at 6-feet-8 ¼ inches and 312 pounds, and over his college career he developed into a surprisingly athletic player considering his size and the level of football he played. The Packers are likely to draft a left-tackle prospect this year as a possible successor to Chad Clifton, whom they want to re-sign for at least one more season, and Veldheer is a player they’re surely looking at closely. He could be drafted as high as late in the second round.

At the combine Thursday, Veldheer said the first thing teams ask him in interviews is why he went to Hillsdale. He tells them that in the summer between his junior and senior years in high school in Grand Rapids, Mich., he attended some college-prospect camps but didn’t perform well because his high school ran the Wing T offense.

“All we did was down block, no pass sliding or anything,” he said, “so going to those camps with all that passing footwork and concepts foreign, I just tried to rely on basketball footwork, and I guess it didn’t go the way those bigger schools wanted it to. Kind of fell down their radar.”

He went to Hillsdale because he had a brother, Aaron, who played basketball there and enjoyed it.

Veldheer also said that coming out of high school he weighed only 255 pounds, could max bench press only his weight and ran the 40-yard dash in 5.5 seconds. Now he’s 312 pounds, has a max bench of 425 pounds, and in his workout this weekend expects to break 5.0 seconds in the 40, which is a superb time for a left tackle.

“I was familiar with the school, it was a great fit,” he said. “Liked the school’s values and the coaching staff there. It was a great decision.”

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