Blog by Intern Jack
Last week, Jaheim Oatis was the talk of the college football world. The 286-pound 8th grader from Mississippi, who could eat you or I for lunch, tweeted out he had received offers from Ole Miss, Alabama, and Mississipi State to play football at the respective schools starting in 2022 (that should make you feel old).
Everybody was happy for Oatis, but there were a lot of questions unanswered. Who the hell is this kid? Is he actually in the eighth grade or do we have a real life Carlos from Benchwarmers (2006) situation on our hands? Maybe this was another attempt from the 30-year-old who was posing as a 17-year-old in Canada to play high school basketball.
Thanks to Chris Kirschner at SEC Country, we got most of the answers after he talked to Oatis and his mother:
SEC Country-When Jaheim Oatis was 3, his mother was buying him double-stacked hamburgers, a side of chicken nuggets and fries.
“And my baby would eat all of it,” Linda Lee told SEC Country.
Talk about an electric way to start a story. I have friends who couldn’t finish a double-stacked hamburger with fries now, and my guy Jaheim was pounding them down when he was three.
Here’s Jaheim when he was in 3rd-grade with the Easter bunny:
Yes, he is 8-years-old in that photo. EIGHT! Usually the Easter bunny scares kids because of how creepy a human sized bunny is, but 8-year-old Oatis wasn’t scared of no Easter bunny…the Easter bunny was scared of him.
“I never thought in a million years that I would have a 10-pound, 6-ounce baby,” Lee said. “When I was in recovery, the nurses came up to me and said I had the biggest baby on the hall. I couldn’t believe them.”
Oh, is that right? You realized you had such an abnormally big baby when the nurses told you? It wasn’t at any other point when you thought “what the hell is coming out of me?” Suuuuuuuuuuuure.
Also, Trent out weighed Jaheim by over 3-pounds when he was born. Phenomenal. Maybe one day Trent will grow up to be as big and strong as Jaheim.
The Mississippi native was 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds in fifth grade. He didn’t play up in age or weight until this past year where he was going up against eighth graders. It was the first year where he put 100 percent effort on the field.
Oatis playing against scrawny little middle schoolers has to be against the Geneva Convention…right? I mean he runs a damn 4.7 40 for god’s sake:
The first camp Oatis attended was at Mississippi State earlier this year. Oatis and Miller didn’t make it to the registration table before a Bulldogs assistant coach stopped them and tried to figure out who he was.
“We were literally walking through the door and one of the coaches was just like, ‘Uh … ya’ll come here. Come here,”‘ Miller recalled. “One of the coaches asked, ‘What grade is he in? Eleventh or 12th? I said, ‘No.’ Then he said, ‘Tenth or ninth?’ I said no, again, and he said, ‘You have got to be kidding me. Is he in college?’ I told him that he was just going into the eighth grade. He got several more coaches over after that and the rest was history.”
Immediately after the Mississipi State coaches were done drooling over Oatis they called up a few boosters to tell them, “we have a situation on our hands” and that “we hope this is done correctly….we don’t have another Cam Newton situation on our hands.”
“It’s just a dream, honestly,” Oatis said. “I’ve worked hard to be on that TV screen. My mom always told me to keep God first. I go to church every Sunday. I pray every day and I keep my head straight. I think God will take me a long way.”
Good to know Oatis has the whole God thing down when talking with a journalist. That’s a huge part of being a successful college football player. God, family, football, in that order.
I did some research to put in perspective how ginormous Oatis is for his age. I did a little math and found out the average height and weight of the all the current Alabama defensive linemen. The average height is 6’3.5 while the average weight is 287.23 pounds. So, yeah, this “eighth-grader” is a half-inch taller and 1 pound lighter than the average Alabama defensive linemen.
After I finished crunching the numbers I was officially not buying the whole 8th-grader thing. I decided to reach out to my Alabama sources and got the whole rundown on what is actually happening with Oatis. I was even sent this photo of when Oatis was offered:
Blog by Intern Jack