Former Warrior Kia gets Jet tryout
BY Stephen Tsai
Former Hawai'i offensive lineman Aaron Kia is going the distance — about 4,890 miles from Hawai'i — in search of a National Football League contract.
Kia has been invited to participate in the New York Jets' organized team activities (OTA) beginning May 15.
The workouts will serve as a tryout, and if Kia does well, he might receive a free-agent contract from the Jets.
Kia's former UH teammate, middle linebacker Brashton Satele, signed a three-year contract with the Jets after a successful tryout the past weekend.
Satele was the first person Kia called after learning of the Jets' invitation.
"I wanted to know what the weather would be like in New York," Kia said.
Kia started all 13 games at left tackle for the Warriors in 2009. But scouts project Kia as an interior lineman on the pro level.
The past weekend, Kia participated in the San Francisco 49ers' three-day mini-camp in Santa Clara, Calif. Kia worked out as a guard and center.
Kia did not receive a callback from the 49ers. But he said the 49er experience should be helpful in his tryout with the Jets.
"Now I have an idea of what to expect," Kia said.
At UH's Pro Day last month, Kia was recorded at 6 feet 4, with an arm reach of34[0xbc] inches and hand span of 10 1/2 inches. He bench-pressed 225 pounds 25 times, and ran the 10-yard dash in 1.74 seconds.
Kia weighed 281 pounds that day, and was about 290 at the start of the 49ers' mini-camp.
"My goal is to be over 300" for the Jets' OTAs, Kia said. "I want to be solid. I don't want to be flabby."
Kia is training with his brother, UCLA offensive lineman Micah Kia, and former Bruin defensive lineman Jerzy Siewierski.
"I've got two more weeks to gain some more weight and continue training," Kia said. "It's not like I'm relying on somebody else. It's up to me. I have a legitimate shot. Hopefully, it will happen. It's an opportunity."