This preseason among the potentially up-and-coming players to watch is center Sampson Genus.
Signed as an undrafted free agent from South Florida last year, Genus did not make the final 2011 roster but made the practice squad and was re-signed to the regular roster after the season.
He played in the Family Night scrimmage and his No. 65 caught my eye.
Genus should seize the opportunity to impress the coaches in preseason action.
While the Packers solidified the center position with Jeff Saturday after Scott Wells' departure, at 37 Saturday is not a long-term solution.
At age 24 Genus could anchor the position for years to come if he shows he can contribute to the best offense in the NFL with Rodgers and the big boys. This makes Genus a player to watch in preseason.
However, personally I have another reason to watch Genus, because I have a No. 65 Green Bay jersey already hanging in my closet. Remember Mark Tauscher, Football Nation? Native of Wisconsin, walk-on at University of Wisconsin, Packers' seventh round draft pick, very unexpectedly made the squad in 2000 and was given jersey No. 65.
Six games into 2000 starting right tackle Earl Dotson went down and Tauscher moved into the starting role and played well. Tauscher impressed me and we shared Wisconsin roots, so around Thanksgiving 2000 I ordered my No. 65 Tauscher jersey and have been seen with it in places high and low ever since. And Tauscher played for the Packers for 10 years.
The No. 65 Tauscher jersey had a good long run but now there is a new No. 65 to watch. Hopefully Sampson Genus will impress and make the team and I'll have some indication he'll be sticking around for awhile. Because then I'll order a No. 65 Genus jersey and start a collection of Green Bay No. 65 jerseys. Adding to it every 10 years would be just fine.