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Monday Cheese Curds: Packers hoping Rashan Gary plays like he was in high school

The highly touted recruit struggled at Michigan, but Green Bay is banking on Mike Pettine to get all he can from a gifted athlete

NFL: NFL Draft Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

That sound you heard moments after the Green Bay Packers selected Rashan Gray with the 12th overall pick was that of many Packers fans scratching their heads.

Even in Wisconsin, the heart of Big Ten country, fans were asking about the former Michigan standout “who is this guy?”

Simply put, Gary is a freak athlete. He was highly recruited out of high school before committing to the Wolverines. He was labeled a future NFL player before he was even a high school junior. Athletes like him have extreme expectations placed on them even when they’re basically just kids.

Sometimes those players fall short of expectations and that is what happened to Gary at Michigan. Unlike Jadeveon Clowney before him, who also was the nation’s top recruit, he didn’t set highlight reels on fire. In the world of NFL scouting, that will tank your stock fast.

Work ethic questions were also raised, which weren’t helped by coach Jim Harbaugh before he walked them back to advocate for Gary leading into the draft. Still, those whispers grew louder and not many thought he’d be a top 25 pick, let alone a top 12.

Then came along Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst. What Gutekunst saw was a rare gifted athlete that could further invigorate a pass rush he has spent the off-season rebuilding.

He’s counting on Mike Pettine and the defensive staff to milk every ounce of talent out of Gary’s 280-pound frame.

Whether the defensive coordinator succeeds will go a long way towards determining how history will ultimately view the 2019 draft class. So no pressure, Mike.

There’s more on Gary plus how another Packers defensive lineman’s mother defied the odds in today’s cheese curds.

Former phenom Rashan Gary driven to meet sky-high expectations with Packers—

Gary will look to recapture the insane ability he showed in high school, but the NFL is obviously a completely different animal. He’s got the traits to be successful, and now it’s up to him and his coaches to utilize them.

Selflessness and Sacrifice—

Kenny Clark is a rising star in the NFL, and he’ll be the first to give credit where it’s due: his mom. She had all the faith her son would be a first round pick and he was. She didn’t want her kids to “be a statistic” and they aren’t. Kenny has become a force, just like his mom.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers makes cameo on “Game of Thrones”—CBS

Aaron of House Rodgers, the true King of the North.

Saints to ‘brush off’ Graham plays for TE Jared Cook—

It took a couple years, but the Packers and Saints essentially swapped tight ends. Who will ultimately end up with the better half of the bargain?

This is the most mispronounced word in the world—

Not only have you been singing karaoke poorly, you’ve also likely been pronouncing it just as badly.