Marcus Tatum


One of my favorite jokes to tell to customers is when they try something on only to find it’s too big for them. “I can tell you how to grow into that,” I tell them. “I have all the secrets.” Marcus Tatum has some secrets, too.

Back in high school, I was 112 pounds. That’s basically the size, shape, and weight of a stick. Three decades later, well let’s just say that I’m no longer 112 pounds. I’m more of a trunk than a stick these days. So yeah, I know how to put on weight. It actually came quite naturally, through no real effort of my own. The pizza guys were working hard, but not me.

So it amuses me to no end to hear that Tennessee offensive tackle Marcus Tatum is working really hard to gain weight. He’s eating four peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before bed, and he’s actually setting his alarm for 3:00 a.m. just to wake up and throw down a couple of protein shakes.

So Tatum is now up to between 280 and 285, more than 20 pounds heavier than his last-published roster weight of 265 and more than 40 over what he weighed when he first arrived on campus. He’s shooting for 295. Another few decades of Papa Johns, and I’ll meet him there.

But seriously, this is what you want from an offensive tackle. Tatum says he’s “not getting bull-rushed as much” and feels “a lot more powerful and balanced and stable.” All good, because we’re going to need a big, strong, and deep offensive line this fall. It could actually be a position of strength this season, and one that would be welcome while breaking in a new starting quarterback.

I’m looking forward to rooting them on with a pizza in my lap.


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