Kelechi Osemele is not only coming into the 2019 season with a new team, but a new body as well.
The Jets made a trade with the Raiders this offseason to land the veteran left guard to bolster their offensive line. And as Osemele traveled to Florham Park for his first taste of the Jets' voluntary workouts, he discussed how he is in the best shape of his NFL career thanks to a new diet.
"I did the ketogenic diet," he told newyorkjets.com. "I also did some intermittent fasting just to lean out and give myself the best possible chance to be in great shape and prevent injuries and stuff like that. Obviously that's an anti-inflammatory diet in general, so that's what I did."
Oseleme may be listed at 6-foot-5, 330 pounds, but a recent Twitter post showed that he was actually 296 pounds -- a weight he says he hasn't seen on the scale since junior year of high school.
Happy Monday!!!! BIG VIBES over here! Wasn't playing with my resolution. All about health and wellness this year 🙌🙏 God is GREAT! Best shape of my life right now! Can't wait till next season 🔥😤 #2019 #Grind #OffSeason #HealthIsWealth pic.twitter.com/H2wNjvmK9K- Kelechi Osemele (@KOseven0) February 12, 2019
So why decide to change his body this drastically heading into a new year?
"Just turning 30 coming up this summer, so longevity," Osemele admitted. "Taking some of that weight off the joints."
On June 24, Osemele will head over the age hill, the same one players normally dread as it marks them truly getting "old" to their sport. This is when physical maintenance is vital, and Osemele is already making the change to endure the coming years.
Other than his own personal changes, the Jets are happy that Osemele is in their building this season to set the tone on the offensive line. Protection for young QB Sam Darnold is a top priority, as he solidified his role as the team's quarterback of the future in his rookie season.
Osemele is a major upgrade to keep Darnold upright, and he already made sure to say he loves his new quarterback's game.
"People person, he works the locker room well, smart, has a lot of the intangibles," Osemele said. "Being able to make plays outside the pocket and scramble -- I like an athletic quarterback, so I like to see that. But so far, so good. And from what I'm hearing from everybody, he's learning fast and he's continuing to develop, so I'm excited about it."
But let's make one thing clear about Osemele's body transformation: It doesn't mean he has gotten softer. He will still be the bar-room brawler in the trenches that he has been since joining the league in 2012 as a second-rounder to the Ravens. And being traded away from the team he spent the past three seasons with also leaves some motivation.
"I'm a chip on the shoulder type of guy, so obviously that's motivation," Osemele said. "I'm a professional and I've been in this business for a while, so I understand it from that point. But I like to take things like that and use it as motivation because it's fuel. Why wouldn't you? Obviously I'm motivated by that."
Oh, and the Jets play the Raiders in Week 11. Revenge game, Kelechi?
"I'm looking forward to it just as I'm looking forward to any game on the schedule," he said. "One game at a time."