Jacob ger | UK athletics
Getting quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic wasn't good for almost all people. The exception is in one place you would least expect it – the Kentucky offensive space.
Instead of packing pounds while away from the Joe Craft Football Training Facility, John Schlarman's Big Blue Wall went to work trying to lose weight. At the head of the prosecution is the man in the middle, Drake Jackson. Jackson, a nominee for this year's Rimington Award, given to the country's top center every year, says he lost 30 pounds of fat in five months.
"You always try to change your body every off-season, eat healthier, work out hard, convert fat into muscle, but in March, when we were hit by the quarantine, I decided there were two options: I could get fat and out of shape, or lose weight and stay in shape. I decided to take the last option. I'm glad i did. I think when you go into your senior year it hits you kind of deep. It's not like I've never taken it seriously, but now it's really time to get serious and I've had a lot of help with it, ”said Jackson.
"I feel great. I've probably lost 30 pounds of fat this off-season. I put it back on and I feel great. I move better than ever. I have all my strength and the guys in the weight room are doing a really good job done with the diet. I'm curious how it pays off. "
The decision Drake made was one made by the entire offensive space together. Instead of practicing out of shape again, they never looked better.
“When we came back and looked at this offensive side room, I was really surprised to see how many people were taking care of themselves. Take a man like Nick Lewis, who went from mid to late 300 to the bottom of 300 and looks better than ever. He's a completely different person. You look at a lot of people: Luke Fortner looks fat and good, Darian Kinnard, really, I could go on and on, ”he said.
"I don't think there's a man in this offensive line space who is fat and out of shape. I think that is evidence of the standards we have set in this room, what is expected of us. Coach Schlarman plays on it every day and has so much experience and leadership in this group. It's not just one person or two or three or four, it was a whole bunch of people who know how to look after their things. I think it shows in the field and it shows in the field. "
Of the people named, Nick Lewis weight loss could be the most significant. Known simply as "Thanos" in the media world, the 6-foot-9 left-handed man was north of £ 350 when he arrived in Lexington in 2018. Mark Stoops only noticed the difference in Lewis through three exercises.
"Nick Lewis made a big jump," said Stoops. "He's really changed his body and improved a lot. As you know, he's a giant. He's a big man and he's got in shape. He moves better and we needed that from Nick."
The Wildcats took care of themselves during their downtime. But don't be fooled, they are still a bunch of fat guys at heart.
“We keep each other in check. I've lost 30 pounds but there are big jokes tossing around every day I go to the O-Line room, "said Jackson.