2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Jaguars giving basketball player Kearse a tryout

    2013-06-12 02:47

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By MARK LONG
AP Sports Writer

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

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.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Dennis KellyDec 20 03:32p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, WR Jeff Maehl, S Jerome Couplin III, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, DE Taylor Hart, LB Trent Cole inactive for Week 16.

Leonard HankersonDec 20 03:12p

The Washington Redskins have declared CB Chibuikem Okoro, LB Gabe Miller, DL Jason Hatcher, OG Josh LeRibeus, LB Keenan Robinson, WR Leonard Hankerson inactive for Week 16.

Roy HeluDec 20 03:02p

Washington Redskins RB Roy Helu (toe) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Peyton ManningDec 19 07:42p

Updating a previous report, Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) was officially limited in practice Friday, Dec. 19, but he threw more than he did than the day prior, [ More ]

Frank GoreDec 19 05:42p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) was limited in practice Friday, Dec. 19, and is questionable for Week 16.

Keenan AllenDec 19 04:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) and WR Keenan Allen (shoulder, ankle) have been ruled out for Week 16 against the San Francisco 49ers.

Cam NewtonDec 19 04:12p

Updating previous reports, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) has yet to officially be cleared to play in Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns, but head coach Ron Rivera [ More ]

T Y HiltonDec 19 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) missed practice all week but is questionable for Week 16 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Peyton ManningDec 19 02:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) was back to a full practice Friday, Dec. 19, after being limited Thursday, Dec. 18. Manning made several strong throws in the portion open to the media.

T Y HiltonDec 19 02:12p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) missed practice again Friday, Dec. 19, and RTV6's Mike Chappell is convinced that Hilton will not play in Week 16 against the Dallas Cowboys.

C.J. SpillerDec 19 12:53p

Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder) has been added to the active roster and is probable for Week 16 against the Oakland Raiders.

Cam NewtonDec 19 12:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) is listed as probable for Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns.

Blake BortlesDec 19 12:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) completed only 13 passes for 115 yards in the win over the Tennessee Titans Thursday, Dec. 18, but he didn't show any signs [ More ]

T Y HiltonDec 19 11:52a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is not participating in the portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

Julio JonesDec 19 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

DeMarco MurrayDec 19 10:52a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) is likely to play in Week 16, according to a source. Murray has a high threshold for pain, and according to the source, [ More ]

Eddie LacyDec 19 10:12a

Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy (eye) said he wasn't able to read a teammate's nameplate a few feet away in the locker room Thursday, Dec. 18. Lacy said [ More ]

Leon WashingtonDec 18 11:32p

Tennessee Titans RB Leon Washington caught a team-high seven passes for 62 yards and a touchdown in the team's 21-13 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, Dec. 18. He [ More ]

Philip RiversDec 18 11:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) looked good throwing the ball in the practice Thursday, Dec. 18, according to head coach Mike McCoy. 'Philip had an outstanding day,' [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 07:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh, illness) said his illness is behind him, and he was receiving treatment for his thigh Thursday, Dec. 18. Head coach John Fox called Manning day-to-day.

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Frank GoreDec 18 07:02p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) continues through the concussion protocol this week, but head coach Jim Harbaugh anticipates Gore suiting up in Week 16 against the San [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 18 06:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) played just 29 snaps in Week 15; only ten of them were pass routes, according to Pro Football Focus.

Rashad JenningsDec 18 06:12p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Carlos HydeDec 18 05:52p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 18 05:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Dec. 18.

Blake BortlesDec 18 04:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has earned positive reviews from the team in his rookie season after being thrust into the spotlight early this year. 'That is not the [ More ]

Jay CutlerDec 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was benched just for this week against the Detroit Lions, according to head coach Marc Trestman. Cutler will be active and serve as the [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsDec 18 04:02p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (hand) will be fitted cast that he can play with on his injured hand. Williams still has not caught a pass with the injured [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 04:02p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) has not been able to do any running this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group