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Tauscher Participates In NFL High School Tuesday

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"When you see your opportunity, take advantage of it."

Seated by class inside the school gymnasium, students in Valders, Wis., listened attentively as a 6-foot-4, 320-pound offensive tackle from the Green Bay Packers delivered a message that was short and sweet.

It was NFL High School Tuesday, the annual event in which one high school in every NFL city or surrounding area enjoys a visit from an NFL player. By logging on to NFLHS.com, the NFL's official high school football website, students at Valders High earned the chance to meet the Packers' Mark Tauscher.

Himself a graduate of Wisconsin's Auburndale High, Tauscher told the story of his journey from high school student-athlete, to two-time Rose Bowl champion with the University of Wisconsin, to third-year NFL veteran with the Packers.

It was a journey Tauscher successfully navigated by having the courage to pursue his dreams.

"It's not that I worked harder than everybody else -- everybody works hard," Tauscher told the students. "There are just so few opportunities to do what you want to do and really stand out. That's why so many people don't.

"When you see your opportunity, take advantage of it."

Tauscher encouraged the students to actively pursue whatever subject or profession interests them, while avoiding the pack mentality that often leads to drugs and the compromising of moral standards.

"Don't get lost in the shuffle," he said. "When you get lost in the shuffle, you can't stand out."

After his brief speech, Tauscher entertained numerous questions from the audience, some more serious than others.

"What's your maximum bench press?" one student asked.

"On a really good day, over 400 pounds," Tauscher responded. "On a really good day."

"How much can you squat?" another student asked soon after.

"You guys must be a big weight-lifting school -- that's good," Tauscher said with a laugh. "Over 600."

Eventually, one student even dared to ask, "Can I tackle you?"

Tauscher smiled and waited for the laughter to die down.

"You can try," he said.

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