That Ted Karras has a thirst for knowledge is pretty obvious, given that he recently completed his second master's degree this offseason.
The new Miami Dolphins center isn't done by any stretch, though, because he's already applied to different colleges to pursue yet another master's next offseason.
But Karras also is clear that his first priority is football. His pursuit of academics is a result of his athletic career.
“It’s definitely second to anything I do in my (football) career," Karras said last week during his Zoom media session. "It’s just a perk that I’ve taken advantage of. I encourage a lot of guys to do it as well. It can be any accredited school. You can go get your degree paid for by the NFL. It’s very important to me. I graduated from Indiana this May with an MBA and going to see what I do next. I don’t do anything ever during the season, so it’s always about February to June, but it’s really exciting. I don’t know what I’m going to do next. I’ve got a couple options. I’ve applied some places, but we’ll see.”
Karras' first master's degree came from the University of Illinois, where he played his college football, and was for Recreation, Sports and Tourism.
"When I finish this, I’ve got my next one planned at American Military University online," Karras said. "Astronomy. One of the great perks about being a player is you get $20,000 a year in education benefits, then more after you retire. ... I got into Harvard to study literature, but that’s a pretty serious one. I’m going to save that for when I am done playing."
The nephew of former NFL player and actor Alex Karras, Ted is quite the character, it turns out.
Karras is with a new team now, though, and he's got to find a way to prove the Dolphins were right in signing him as an unrestricted free agent after he started only the last of his four years with the Patriots.
Karras played right guard for his four years at Illinois before the Patriots converted him to center.
He explained why he thinks that position is a good fit for him.
“I’m (a) good leader, making calls, I’m a pretty decent size for a center," Karras said. "I like being in the mix. I like the fact that we’re kind of in there fighting in the A gaps. I’m just working hard every day. I learned center my rookie year in New England and then played it for four (seasons) and now get a chance to get another season under my belt. I’m very excited. I love anything on the O-line. Any opportunity and job in this league is precious and I’m very excited to continue to work with the guys and be the best player I can be so we can win as many ballgames as we can.”
And once the season is done and next offseason arrives, it'll be time to hit the books again instead of opposing defensive linemen.