Jaheim Oatis was a highly-touted 2022 recruit coming out of high school. Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing a whopping 416 pounds, it was easy to see the potential many colleges saw in the 4-star recruit out of Mississippi. Oatis had the obvious size needed to play on the line at the collegiate level and showed he was a force to be reckoned with for opposing offenses.

Oatis received his offer to play for Alabama in the eighth grade and arrived at the Capstone last spring. He had no intentions of playing as a freshman since he knew he needed to lose weight to play at the next level; however, through hard work and dedication, Oatis lost enough weight by the start of last season to play in the first two games before making his first start in week three.

"When I came in they were helping me with the weight and then DJ Dale talked to me and helped me out from my first three games and told me how the game was going to move and play," Oatis said.

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The standout freshman went on to start 10 games, record 29 total tackles (including one sack), four quarterback hurries, and a pair of pass breakups, according to Rolltide.com. Hoping to build off his All-SEC freshman season, Oatis came into spring camp down almost 100 pounds. He's weighing about 320 and says that he feels comfortable in the 320-330 pound range.

What led to the massive weight loss? Oatis swapped out fried chicken, rice, and bread for vegetables, shrimp, baked chicken and other healthier options. He said fried chicken was the hardest to give up. He gives credit to Amy Bragg, who is the director of performance nutrition, for helping him lose all the weight.

Shedding 100 pounds has Oatis feeling much better physically. From breathing better to moving faster, he's seen improvements in all aspects of his game. His teammates noticed how his game elevated since losing the weight as well.

"Seeing him go through the process, work hard, and dedicate himself was very impressive," said linebacker Chris Braswell.  "And obviously that does help open up lanes as far as pass rushing."

With Dale and Byron Young off to the NFL, Oatis should have a bigger role on the d-line in the 2023 season. Fans will get their first look at the slimmer Oatis on April 22 at the team's annual spring game.

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