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Packers Give Chance to Former D-III Player With Meager History

The Green Bay Packers signed tight end Nick Guggemos to their practice squad on Tuesday.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Tight end Nick Guggemos, who barely played at Division III powerhouse St. Thomas due to injuries, was signed to the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad on Tuesday.

At St. Thomas, a school located in St. Paul, Minn., he was a receiver on the football team and a sprinter/jumper in track and field. He finished his collegiate career with just one reception for 8 yards and one rush for minus-4 yards.

His college career ended in 2018. While putting his engineering degree to work, he trained in hopes of getting a shot in 2020. Instead, COVID struck and shut the door on any opportunities. He continued to train at an ETS Performance opened by Vikings receiver Adam Thielen.

Finally, he was invited to the University of Minnesota pro day in 2021, where he caught the eye of Seahawks general manager John Schneider – an alum of St. Thomas. After a workout with the Seahawks, Guggemos signed as an undrafted free agent and spent a month with the team before his release.

“He did a nice job in a couple workouts that our scouts had seen,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters during OTAs. “Then when we brought him in here for a workout, he really did well and so, we thought he deserved a chance to be part of this.”

Guggemos latched on with Washington but was released midway through training camp. Late in the 2021 season, he joined the Browns’ practice squad.

How did a player with such a meager history in the small-time world of Division III football get a shot in the NFL? A 4.49-second time in the 40 at 6-foot-4 and 248 pounds and a broad jump that rivaled any tight end to ever participate in the Scouting Combine.

Earlier this month, he was drafted in the seventh round of the USFL Draft by the Las Vegas Vipers.

His father, Neal Guggemos, also played at St. Thomas before playing three seasons as a defensive back for the Vikings in 1986 and 1987 and the Giants in 1988. He was primarily a kickoff returner, with a career average of 21.7 yards.

Younger brother Matt, a defensive back, played at the University of Minnesota before transferring to St. Thomas for the 2022 season.

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