Minnesota Vikings rookie Brian O’Neill bulking up with new diet
By Adam Carlson
Offensive lineman Brian O’Neill hopes to gain a lot of good weight in hopes of being able to contribute for the Minnesota Vikings during his rookie season.
Being an offensive lineman in the NFL is a massive challenge. Not only does one need to possess incredible strength and size but they need to complement that with agility and technique in order to be successful. The Minnesota Vikings are hoping they found just that type of player when they drafted Brian O’Neill.
A second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, O’Neill was a standout pass blocker at the college level, using his nimble feet, quick acceleration, and arm length. However, the questioning of his ability comes in terms of his overall strength and body mass.
Entering the draft, O’Neill weighed in at 297 lbs despite standing 6-foot-7. Needing to gain both mass and strength, the offensive lineman knew what he had to do: bulk up.
Recently, the Pioneer Press released an article discussing the efforts being made by the rookie in order to put on some weight and some of the things he is doing may seem extreme to those with regular eating habits.
The good news is that his efforts are already proving to be paying off. The rookie out of the University of Pittsburgh is already weighing in at over 300 pounds and hopes to reach 305 by the time the Vikings regular season begins on September 9th, with 315 being the major goal down the road. If he can continue to gain healthy weight, this will put him at a huge advantage for obtaining long-term success.
"“I’d say a year from now I could be 315, absolutely. We didn’t want me to come back (for training camp) at 315 because it wouldn’t be a good 315. But I’m going to keep progressing. I think I can handle 315 eventually down the road. I’ve got room to grow.”"
Growing will definitely happen the way he’s gaining weight. He’s slowly packing on healthy weight by eating more often and focusing on proteins while working hard to ensure his mass being built will be beneficial at the NFL level.
"“A lot of protein and a lot of carbs,” he said. “A big thing for me is eating right before bed. For a lot of people, they say, ‘Don’t eat past 7 o’clock’ or something. I do 7 o’clock, 10 o’clock and 11:30 or whenever I go to bed. I always have something in me, and I can never be hungry.”"
O’Neill will have the opportunity to fight for a spot as the team’s starting right tackle, but he will need to beat out versatile offensive lineman Rashod Hill working hard to get in the best shape of his life, recently signed free agent Tom Compton, and others for the job.
However, no matter what role he ends up with this season for the Vikings, O’Neill is ready to take it on head-first, even if it means waiting for his opportunity to come and being low on the depth chart.
"“If the coaches want me to be (a backup tackle), that’s what I’m going to do with open arms. If they want me to be the fifth-string guard, so be it. If they want me to be the backup center, I’ll learn to snap.”"
The competition for the starting right tackle position will be the most interesting one of training camp, and will likely come down to Hill or O’Neill as the winner. But it’s great knowing that no matter who wins the job that there are passionate, hard-working players ready to step in at a moment’s notice for the Minnesota Vikings.