NEWPORT, R.I. ― Bulls senior quarterback Blake Barnett appeared a bit brawnier at the American Athletic Conference media days, with good reason.
The last several months, the 6-foot-5 graduate transfer has bulked up with the help of a nutritionist. As a result, he expects to enter preseason camp roughly 12 pounds heavier than he weighed for most of the 2018 season.
Barnett addressed his weight-gain efforts Tuesday in a brief Q&A with the Tampa Bay Times.
Discuss the thought process leading to you consulting a nutritionist.
“It’s always been pretty tough for me to put on weight. I’ve always been a skinnier kid, especially in high school. And then obviously coming to college it was something I consistently had to work on, and was really trying to improve, and I kind of reached a wall of just my knowledge. So I figured I’d try to seek some outside help. I got a nutritionist who was able to help me a lot, basically just telling me what to eat, when to eat it and how much to eat. It sounds simple, but it took me about four years until I finally sought outside help to really learn what I needed to be putting in my body, counting calories, all that stuff. And thankfully, through that process, I was able to put just about 20 pounds on.”
What did you weigh at the Gasparilla Bowl last year, and what do you weigh now?
"Well last season in general, I probably played around 212. The Gasparilla Bowl actually, I had gotten sick for like four days prior to that and I played at probably 199 in that game. ... I was up to 230 and I just had my wisdom teeth taken out last week, so I dropped like, four pounds. So I'm about 226 right now, but I'm feeling good."
When did you bring the nutritionist aboard?
“I want to say right before spring ball. So it’s been three or four months now off the top of my head. ... Since that’s happened, I’ve been able to pick it up pretty quick and it’s allowed me to put on good weight and not just picking up the fat.”
Without getting too specific or technical, what do you eat now that you didn’t eat before, and vice versa?
“I wouldn’t say there’s a big difference with what I eat, it’s more importantly just knowing what food I need, when to eat it and supplementing different foods. Obviously protein shakes are essential, good fats, good oils, and obviously mix up some fruits and veggies as well.”
Contact Joey Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.