Justin Fields didn’t need to change much this offseason.
After nearly winning the Heisman Trophy last year and leading the Buckeyes to a third consecutive Big Ten title and a College Football Playoff appearance, Fields is the furthest thing from a liability.
But that doesn’t mean he’s stopped looking for ways to improve, including with his overall health and physical presence. Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson told media members on Friday that Fields has completely revamped his diet by taking a page out of Cam Newton and Tom Brady’s playbook.
“My wife would be pleased to tell you that he’s been on a vegan diet,” Wilson said with a chuckle. “He is definitely leaner and faster. Here’s a kid that wants to become a great player, and part of that is taking care of your body.”
“We have phenomenal resources available for these guys, and teaching them how to eat is a big part of that,” Wilson added. “Justin made a commitment to that style of diet. It’s not the only one, but it’s the one he wanted. He has a meal set for him that we provide now, and he’s taking advantage of it.
“I think he just did it to be leaner, take care of himself and be stronger and faster, and he looks that way. He’s a stronger and faster player.”
Wilson also said that Fields didn’t need to lean out or that it would necessarily make him a better player. It has more to do with the commitment he’s making to be better in all aspects of his life, including as a leader for this team.
When Fields transferred to Ohio State last year, there wasn’t much of a quarterback controversy. It was clear pretty quickly that he was the best option and would run the offense. He spent a good chunk of last season as a “lead by example” kind of player, but Fields used his voice this offseason to jumpstart the national movement to play college football during the pandemic.
His teammates and coaches have taken notice.
“He’s been helping us, personally (the tight ends) a lot, with routes,” said senior tight end Jake Hausmann. “He literally will run the route himself to show us how its done. He’s always been a natural leader, but in the past six months or so he’s become more vocal.”
“(Fields has improved) Definitely physically, he’s doing anything and everything he can to get better,” said fifth-year senior tight end Luke Farrell. “The leadership aspect too, obviously he was the new guy coming in last year, but he’s made huge strides in being a vocal leader for our team.”
“I think where he’s grown the most is a year ago he came in as the quarterback, but as a new guy, I don’t think he tried to force being a leader,” said Coach Wilson. “Now that he’s had a great year and has some leadership skills, I just think he’s done a really good job of being what you want your quarterback to be off the field too as a strong leader. He’s a great offseason – its been a weird offseason, but he’s been great.”
Whether it’s diet, conditioning, literally running the routes for his teammates that he wants them to take, or becoming a better pocket passer, Justin Fields is ready to take his game to a new level – even if it means skipping out on meat, eggs and dairy products.
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