Greg Van Roten
Twitter, @GVR64

Newly-signed Greg Van Roten showcases proof of his childhood love for the local New York Jets via a Halloween costume.

This one isn’t exactly John Tavares worthy, but it’s much easier to take. Ask the New York Jets fans who also root on the New York Islanders about athlete pictures from their childhood pasts. The response may come with an R-rating.

Tavares posting a young version of himself all comfortable in bed with Toronto Maple Leaf pajamas soon after spurning the Isles organization isn’t remembered fondly. Nearly two years later, Greg Van Roten tried to equal the score.

Van Roten, 30, provided proof of his childhood love of the Jets on Twitter. For Halloween, he once decided to don the gang green color.

Van Roten—as he already tweeted—is “coming home.” Born in Rockville Centre, NY, GVR attended Chaminade high school in Mineola, NY.

The extremely bright student-athlete then starred on the offensive line in the Ivy League for Pennsylvania. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Green Bay Packers in 2012, a Canadian Football League stint with the Toronto Argonauts lifted him to starting offensive guard status.

Van Roten signed a deal in Carolina in 2017, playing mainly special teams, prior to his breakout season a year later. The Penn product started all 27 of his games played over the last two years, helping pave the way for the exciting Christian McCaffrey.

Of course, the last former Panthers offensive lineman to come to Florham Park didn’t exactly shock the senses, but unlike GVR, Ryan Kalil was coaxed out of retirement.

Whether or not he’ll start in 2020 is still very much up for debate. While penciled in at right guard over Brian Winters, general manager Joe Douglas understands the idea of competition makes offensive linemen tick.

At the very least, Greg Van Roten will have every opportunity to earn that starting spot in the tri-state area he called home when growing up.

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