Justin Jefferson: The Real-Life Diet of the LSU Receiver and Likely First-Round NFL Draft Pick – GQ

Posted: April 17, 2020 at 7:46 pm


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If youre a casual college football fan, then your introduction to LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson very well may have come during the Peach Bowl on December 28, when the junior caught 14 passes for 227 yards and four touchdowns in the Tigers 63-28 shellacking of the Oklahoma Sooners. Its a crazy stat line, only made crazier when you remember all four touchdowns were in the first half.

Jefferson was a steady hand in the National Championship game as well, catching nine balls for 106 yards as he, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow, and Americas favorite head coach Ed Orgeron capped off an undefeated season with a 42-25 victory over the Clemson Tigers.

Now Jefferson is a week away from being selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, almost certainly in the first round. Of course, this years draft, which runs April 23 to April 25, wont resemble prior years. Because of the coronavirus crisis, NFL general managers will be making their picks from their own homes, and incoming rookies like Jefferson will also be hunkered down. (For Jefferson, thats with his family in St. Rose, Louisiana.) As a highly-ranked prospect, Jefferson was sent camera gear by the NFL thatll capture the exact moment he finds out his pro destination.

In the meantime, Jefferson is mixing in receiving drills and whatever weight training he can, while also studying playbooks in order to ace phone interviews with NFL general managers and scouts. Below, Jefferson tells GQ more about this unusual draft prep, what Coach O is like in the weight room, and who would win a game of one-on-one between himself and his LSU teammate Burrow, the presumed top overall pick.

GQ: Whats the at-home draft-day outfit going to be?

Justin Jefferson: I dont know yet. Still thinking about whether I want to be all classy, or if I want to lay back. Itll be a last-minute decision, but Ive got to figure out what to rock.

I imagine its been a busy few weeks for you. Can you walk me through an average day of late?

Its been very weird. Everything has been all over the place. Nothing is really scheduled besides interviews. You go to sleep whenever you can and wake up whenever you wake up. I usually get a breakfast in with eggs and bacon and toast, because Ive been trying to keep this weight on me. I tried to keep weight on at school too, but just with all the running we were doing, and the college schedule we have, I wasnt able to maintain the weight that I wanted to. My parents are cooking for me, so for other meals, Im having chicken on the grill, salmon, beans and rice, lots of protein.

I do an afternoon workout, and its chilling the rest of the day. Im not as much a morning person, so if its on my time, I workout in the afternoons. Ive been cleaning up the little things I need to improve on to be the versatile receiver the coaches want me to be. Ive got a field near my house that Ive been working out on with a couple of high school friends. Its been a combination of football workouts and weight-room workouts. I want to keep this strength on me.

How are you staying mentally sharp, especially given all the draft interviews you have lined up?

Im making sure Im studying and looking over plays at night on my iPad when Im laying down and chilling. As long as Im doing that, Im still being reminded of the formations and maintaining my football smarts. [The NFL general managers] definitely want to see if Im a smart football player. Luckily we had similar concepts at LSU, so its been more so seeing what NFL teams call those concepts, and adjusting from there.

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Justin Jefferson: The Real-Life Diet of the LSU Receiver and Likely First-Round NFL Draft Pick - GQ

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April 17th, 2020 at 7:46 pm