User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Jaguars giving hoops player Kearse tryout

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Lance Kearse's first football practice in nearly a decade got off to a rough start Tuesday.

Advertisement
Before Kearse even caught a pass, he ran off the field and vomited.

It was understandable if the 6-foot-6 tight end was a little nervous considering he hadn't played football since middle school and was trying out for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

But he insisted his queasiness had nothing to do with anxiety.

``I just ate a little bit too much,'' said Kearse, a former professional basketball player and cousin of retired NFL player Jevon Kearse.

Kearse's stomach settled down, and he ended up opening eyes during the first NFL minicamp.

The 24-year-old Kearse is one of the most interesting stories of the three-day camp. He started his college basketball career at Virginia Commonwealth, transferred to Division II Eckerd College, played a year of professional basketball in Spain, and until Tuesday, hadn't strapped on a football helmet since he was 13.

``It feels foreign, it feels strange,'' he said. ``But I feel like with repetition, it'll be normal again.''

His path to the NFL was far from ordinary.

Kearse left VCU after ``butting heads'' with then-coach Anthony Grant over what appeared to be conditioning issues.

During a workout in his freshman year in 2007, Kearse had to be rushed to a hospital after battling serious fatigue and uncontrollable cramping. He nearly lost his kidneys as a result of severe dehydration.

He struggled to play much more than 10 minutes a game as a freshman and then left school in the middle of his sophomore season.

Kearse landed at Eckerd College, just a couple hours from his home in Fort Myers. Fatigue and cramps followed - until a physical changed everything.

Blood tests revealed Kearse had the sickle cell trait, an inherited condition that causes red blood cells to warp into sickle shapes during intense exercise, block blood vessels and deprive vital organs and muscles of oxygen.

The trait poses less of a threat with proper awareness and education.

``It doesn't affect me too much as long as I stay hydrated and it's monitored,'' Kearse said. ``I know how to monitor it now. Back then, when I was in high school and college, I knew nothing about it. That's why I would cramp up and pass out and have to be rushed to the hospital and all that. But now I'm aware of it and I know how to treat it, so I'm good.''

Kearse played three years at Eckerd and led the team in scoring as a senior. He averaged 16.2 points and 6.0 rebounds in 2011-12 - enough to earn a contract to play overseas.

He averaged 12.6 points and 5.8 rebounds last season while playing for Lan Mobel ISB in Spain.

But having grown up in a football-crazed state and idolizing NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders and his famous cousin, Lance Kearse maintained thoughts of returning to the gridiron.

It became a reality after former NFL player Earnest Graham saw him play football.

``He saw me running and catching and said, `Wow, you're pretty athletic. I'm going to try to get you a contact.' And he got me hooked up here.''

It wasn't quite that simple.

Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell heard scuttlebutt around the league that Kearse was looking for a workout, so he asked his scouts to check out the 240-pound tight end. An Internet search led to video evidence of his athleticism. Caldwell also called his older brother, whose sons play basketball for Nike Team Florida in Sarasota, which is near Fort Myers.

All the Team Florida coaches have followed Kearse's career.

``My brother just kind of confirmed it down there,'' Caldwell said. ``He's a heck of an athlete. He catches the ball really well. It was really nothing for us to bring him in for a workout.''

He might just stick around, too.

Aside from entrenched starter Marcedes Lewis, the Jaguars have little proven depth at the position. Jacksonville waived tight end Matt Veldman on Tuesday, leaving Lewis and five others vying for three roster spots.

``I'm not trying to say that I'm coming for anyone's spot or anything, but I'm going to come out here and compete just like everybody else is going to come out here and compete,'' said Kearse, who has no other NFL tryouts scheduled. ``Hopefully I'll make the team.''

Even with that queasy start, Kearse has no plans of turning back.

``It feels good. It feels perfect. It feels like I belong,'' he said.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Rogers: Week 16 Tip Sheet
David: Total Talk - Week 16
Simo: Vegas Line Moves - Week 16
Marshall: Tech Trends - Week 16
News: SuperContest Picks - Week 16
Sportsbook: Sunday's Game to Watch
Akins: Gridiron Angles - Week 16
Rose: Sharp Moves - Week 16
Sportsbook: SNF - Seahawks at Cardinals
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NFL Pro Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NFL Hot Streaks
5-2 Last Sunday, +2,182 TY
4-2 Sunday, 15-8 +658 L23 Picks
9-1 L2 Sundays, 44-22 L66 Run
8-2 L10, 11-2 L4 Sundays, 17-6 L23
14-5 L11 Sundays, 24-10 Run
4-0 Sun., 10-3 Last 3 Sundays
13-3 Last 16 Over/Unders
5-1 L6 Guarantees, 13-4 L17 Totals
7-3 NFL Record Last Sunday
9-3 L12 G-Plays, 15-6 L21 Totals
2-0 Saturday, 8-4 L2 Sundays
14-7 L21 Guaranteed Plays
5-1 Streak, 16-6 Guarantees TY
2-0 Saturday, 6-2 L8 Guarantees
4-0 Record Sunday
6-1 Last 7, +1,884 This Year
NFL Pro Football Expert Sports Picks- Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
2014 NFL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 2182
Antony Dinero + 1884
Joe Williams + 1234
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 401
Stephen Nover + 400
Mark Franco + 400
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Doc's Sports 61 %
Bruce Marshall 58 %
The SportsBoss 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 966
Mike Rose + 935
Marc Lawrence + 745
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 1447
Hank Goldberg + 855
Andy Iskoe + 511
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1274
The Gold Sheet + 1176
Kevin Rogers + 703
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
2014 VI College Bowl Betting Guide