YONKERS, N.Y. - Although he went undrafted through seven rounds of this week's NFL College Draft, former Yonkers resident Gilbert Pena was quickly signed to a free agent contract by the green Bay Packers Saturday night.
Pena graduated Saunders High School in 2005 and now attends the Uinversity of Mississippi.
"First off I'd like to take the man upstairs," Pena said via Facebook. "Through Him all is possible. Thank you to all who have shown love. It's greatly appreciated. And thank you Green Bay for giving me this great opportunity that will not be taken lightly."
Pena, a 6-foot-4, 317-pound defensive tackle at the University of Mississippi, was projected to be chosen in the seventh round or to sign a free agent if not drafted. Pena did not attend college to play football after graduating high school in 2004, opting to help care for his mother Susan Cruz, who was dealing with cancer. But after his mother recovered, he went back to school in 2009.
After having worked as a cook and a warehouse foreman to keep his family going, Pena enrolled at ASA junior college in Brooklyn and joined the football team. He then transferred to Mississippi in 2011.
"Thank you ASA College (Brooklyn) and The University of Mississippi for letting me do what I love and give me a chance to earn a degree," Pena said after signing.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.