Dream come true for LaRose

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:50 AM ET

J.R. LaRose knew the opportunity was on the table.

With veteran non-import safety Will Loftus still on the shelf from a rotator-cuff injury, there was an opening for a Canadian defensive back at Edmonton Eskimo training camp.

Although he has never played a down of college football, the former Edmonton Huskie practically stood on his head through training camp and has cracked the Esks' lineup.

"From watching people like Gizmo at such a young age and dreaming of playing on the Commonwealth Stadium field to actually being part of the Eskimos - it's honestly a dream come true for me," said the 22-year-old Edmonton native, who started attending Eskimo games in Grade 1.

LaRose actually dressed for one game last summer in Vancouver as an emergency injury replacement. He was driving through the interior of B.C. when he got the phone call to dress - and literally rushed to Vancouver. The Esks cobbled together some equipment and he just barely made it on the field in time.

But now he's a legitimate part of the team with a very bright future.

"He's going to be a player in this league for a number of years," said Esks head coach Danny Maciocia.

"He has had an outstanding camp.

"He lined up at free safety, lined up at field corner... and is very good on (special) teams."


Photos