Oklahoma All-State Football 2018: Jenks lineman Brady Latham grew into a Division I recruit
Two years ago, Jenks offensive lineman Brady Latham knew if he was going to achieve his dream to play college football he was going to have to gain weight.
Weighing 210 pounds as a sophomore, Latham's goal was to gain 40 pounds by his junior season. He reached that goal and then gained another 35 pounds between his junior and senior seasons.
“He had food in his hand it seemed like all the time," Jenks coach Keith Riggs said.
Latham's go-to meal for putting on weight the past two years? Guacamole.
"I ate a lot of guacamole," Latham said. "I like it a lot and it is good on putting on weight. So I would get home and eat a bowl of guacamole about every day.”
A lot of peanut butter, whole milk and protein shakes also were staples of Latham's diet.
He not only gained weight through his eating habits, but became a better football player as a result of his offseason conditioning and weight lifting workouts.
Latham not only earned a spot on The Oklahoman's All-State football team as an offensive lineman, but he became a Division I recruit, signing with Arkansas in December.
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Latham is excited to be part of what is reportedly one of Arkansas' best signing classes in years that includes offensive lineman Ricky Stromberg from Tulsa Union and defensive end Collin Clay from Putnam City.
"I hope we (signing class) can be a huge part of the turnaround," Latham said. "I cannot wait to get down there. I chose them because it felt like home. It was an awesome atmosphere every time I went down there. It felt like family. It just felt like the right place for me."
Latham's father, Bob, was an All-Big Eight center for Oklahoma. Growing up, Latham often attended Oklahoma games with his dad, but said he wasn't disappointed that the Sooners didn't offer him a scholarship.
“Through this whole process I knew the right schools would come to me and I was going to end up where I needed to,” he said.
Latham wasn't getting much attention from any college recruiters before his senior season. Riggs said Latham gained weight, got stronger and got their attention.
"He improved his 40 time," Riggs said. "He improved his strength. He improved his agility. Every phase of his game got better with the added weight."
The extra weight made a huge difference, Riggs said.
"It allowed him to play, be more physical as a senior," he said. "It was just a joy this year to watch him learn how to play at that bigger weight, that size, and he just kept getting better each and every game as the season went on.”
If there was an "aha moment" for Riggs it came when he saw Latham play in the spring.
"If you had to pick a time it was team camp in May when he got to go against other teams for the first time at that heavier weight," he said. "To see how well he played at that size was really exciting."
"He has always been really good and always been a fierce competitor. The difference this year he finally grew into his body."
And Riggs thinks Latham has not finished growing.
"He still has a baby face," Riggs said. "I think he has some more growing to do. I think he is going to continue to get bigger and with it continue to be a better football player."
Latham played at 285 pounds his senior season and now weighs 290 pounds. He wants to put on another five or 10 pounds before donning a Razorback uniform, but he is cutting back on the guacamole.
"It kind of got old," he said.