He knows the state's reputation. He's heard the cheese in Wisconsin is supreme, plentiful.

So now, Giorgio Tavecchio - born in Milan, Italy - is ready to taste it for himself.

"I heard it's the Land of Cheese, and I'm a diehard fan of cheese," Tavecchio said. "I can't wait to taste all the flavors up there."

And in the meantime, Tavecchio will also be competing with Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby. After standing by Crosby through last season's tailspin - and going five years without another leg in training camp - Green Bay signed Tavecchio on Tuesday. Tavecchio, 22, spent his rookie training camp with the San Francisco 49ers last season after going 48 of 64 (75%) through four years at California.

It's a sharp shift in approach for general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy, who have left Crosby alone since he beat out Dave Rayner in 2007.

"Of course I'd love to win the job," Tavecchio said. "I want to compete and do well. If that means winning the job, great. If that means pushing Crosby and helping the team, that's great as well."

Green Bay also worked out ex-Division III kicker Michael Barnard and Eddy Carmona, who spent last summer with the Oakland Raiders. Tavecchio was the choice.

As a senior at Cal, he hit 20 of 23 field goals (87%) but also missed six extra points. For his career, Tavecchio finished fifth all-time on Cal's scoring list (256 points).

Coach Mike McCarthy hinted last week at the NFL owners meetings that the Packers would add a kicker to push Crosby.

"I don't think you can look past any performance throughout your team and think that competition's (not) going to help, regardless of how they performed the year before," McCarthy said then. "He's an experienced kicker, and those guys make subtle adjustments. Sometimes it's too much, and if there's a common theme of a lot of our evaluation with our football team, it falls in the category of too much."