Jaheim Oatis praised for weight loss, ability to win one-on-one

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Few on Alabama’s roster have transformed their bodies like Jaheim Oatis.

The freshman defensive lineman recently announced this he has lost 74 poundsbeginning at 416 and decreasing to 342 by the start of the Crimson Tide preseason drill chart.

Defensive coordinator Pete Golding was Oatis’ primary recruiter from Columbia, Miss.

“To see his transformation over a four-year period, because Jaheim first came here in eighth grade and he got an offer in eighth grade,” Golding said. “Obviously throughout his high school career you could see on the tape that he really could be something. And you could see a lot of plays in which he puts down a game. I thought, ‘Okay, this will beat us.’

“So the most exciting thing for me with Jaheim was that he’s always been a great boy, but once he accepted coming to Alabama, he knew what it took. He knew it would be difficult. He could have gone to many other places where he would not have been asked to do what he was asked to do here. He knew weight was the number one thing we had to focus on and that ended up being one of the biggest decisions to come here was nutrition with Miss Amy (Bragg), the strength and conditioning to develop him and to get where he needed to be to play good and winning football.

“And he did it incredibly well. That’s why I’m looking forward to him.”

Oatis is one of three true newcomers to the defensive line, alongside Khurtiss Perry and Isaiah Hastings. Oatis and Perry were both on campus in the spring as early enrollments, and the former recorded two tackles and a sack in the A-Day game. He showed lightning in the spring when he was listed by UA at 370 pounds before losing the equivalent of a mountain bike.

The Crimson Tide welcomes back four players who started several games on the defensive line last season and have a couple of guys older than Oatis who could get more roles this fall. But with Phidarian Mathis moving to the NFL, Alabama will need other players to provide some inner passing frenzy this fall, and Golding isn’t leaving Oatis out of the mix.

“Believe it or not, Jaheim has a lot more jiggles than you all think he has,” Golding said. “So inside he’s a guy who’s very lucky if you leave a guy with him.”

Oatis’ weight loss is the most notable on the team considering how much he lost, but he’s not the only player to do so. When asked specifically about Oatis, head coach Nick Saban revealed that others have lost unwanted weight as well, and thanked UA’s Director of Performance Nutrition Amy Bragg and Director of Sports Performance David Ballou for their help.

“I’m happy with several of our guys,” said Saban. “We have almost eliminated many weight problems that come from a scientific approach. Not that I’m looking at a guy and saying he needs to lose 10 pounds, but a muscle mass/body fat correlation that helps a guy be more efficient. And I’m happy with the way a lot of our big boys have sort of balanced that.

“I think Miss Amy is doing a really good job of helping boys. And again, it goes back to the kind of choices and decisions you make about what you eat, when you eat it, how much you eat of certain things that can create the kind of muscle mass gains and body fat decreases that you can have more efficient player.

“When I say efficient, I’m not talking about your ability to do something once. I’m talking about your ability to keep it at the same high level for 40-50 games in a game. The guys did a good job. I think it helps them become better football players. And I’m pretty happy with the overall team improvements we’ve made from that standpoint, as well as the explosive movement and speed. I think Dave Ballou and his group have done a really good job in motivating the players to work hard in some of those areas, which will hopefully help on the pitch.”

Did you know that BOL has a podcast? The BamaOnLine podcast brings you the latest Alabama news and insights from Travis Reier, Charlie Potter, Hank South and Tim Watts. Watch the latest episode exactly here or subscribe on iTunes today!

Contact Charlie Potter via personal message or on Twitter (@Charlie_Potter).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.