Oregon State’s Jermar Jefferson hopes a beefed-up diet leads to more time on the – Health News Today
Oregon State’s Jermar Jefferson is coming off a sophomore season where he ran for 685 yards and eight touchdowns.
Not terrible, but not what Jefferson had in mind following a record-setting freshman year in 2018.
Injuries and health played a big role in Jefferson’s production decrease. So shortly after the 2019 season ended, Jefferson went to work on a game plan.
Jefferson’s big problem, it turned out, was simple. Eat. Eat more.
What college boy doesn’t like to eat, and eat a lot? Jefferson, for one. It’s not that he was opposed to food. Just wasn’t a priority.
“I was barely eating twice a day,” Jefferson said of his diet in 2019. “Honestly, I don’t know why. I just wasn’t hungry, I guess.”
Jefferson said it’s ideal for him to weigh around 215 to 217 pounds during the season. Jefferson struggled to maintain that weight last season, which he felt went back to his eating habits.
OSU’s strength and conditioning staff reviewed Jefferson’s food intake, and told him it’s simply not enough. What Jefferson was eating was OK – he says fast food was only a meal or two a week, though he’s trying to cut that to zero – he just needs more of it.
Now Jefferson is eating three meals a day, and then some with addition of snacks. His calorie intake has increased significantly.
Jefferson isn’t alone on revamping eating habits among Oregon State’s football players. The team went through a five-week course on nutrition education this offseason, according to OSU sports dietitian Toni Langhans. The goals include increasing their awareness as to what food can do for overall health, and collaborating with teammates – particularly roommates – about nutritional goals.
“Something as small as switching portions of different types of food can make a huge difference in performance and energy levels,” Langhans said.
Jefferson believes it was health last year that caused him to miss three games and see decreases in carries (97) and yards (695) from his freshman season. Because in general, Jefferson said felt everything about his game was better in 2019 than 2018.
“Honestly, I was a lot stronger and smarter during the game, but the injuries just messed everything up,” Jefferson said. “The game started to slow down for me. I started to notice things like certain glitches and when certain stuff was about to come.”
Jefferson said it wasn’t until the game at Arizona, the eighth game of 2019, where he began feeling close to 100 percent. Coincidentally, Jefferson started three of the final five games and had two 100-yard games, and nearly a third against Oregon.
Through two years at Oregon State, Jefferson has run for 2,065 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Jefferson says he isn’t the best running back in college football, but “I feel like I have the potential to be that No. 1 in the national, for sure.” To get there, some of the improvements are obvious, such as video study and weight room developments.
Jefferson feels like he’s fast and…