First it was peanut butter sandwiches. Then it was ham sandwiches with nearly a quarter-pound of meat on each. Next it was fried chicken fingers. Then it was hamburgers.
When Jeb Blazevich grew tired of one kind of food, he would move on to something else. The goal was simple: to transform himself from wide receiver to tight end. Forty pounds later, he has achieved his goal.
"When he went on this program to gain weight, I could tell he was having to force himself to eat," Blazevich's mother said.
Much of the responsibility for Blazevich's diet fell on his mother. She would be up every morning, cooking breakfast, lunch and snacks for her son.
"There was nothing fun to eat, but I ate a lot of chicken," Blazevich said. "I got those Tyson chicken strips, cut them up and just eat them throughout the day. I would eat two pounds of chicken throughout class. I hated it. I threw up every workout for the first week, but that was the easiest thing to go down. I tried sandwiches but chicken was a lot easier."
Blazevich is no longer a self-described "average receiver." He's now a 6-foot-5, 240-pound tight end with scholarship offers from all over the South. His max bench press is up 50 pounds to 300. His max squat is up 30 pounds to 465. He recently posted a 35-inch vertical jump.
Blazevich's older brother, Parker, quickly realized that it wasn't as easy to pick on his little brother anymore.
"It was kind of funny because he used to be kind of small and chubby so I always picked on him, then one day I wake up and he's bigger than I am and stronger. I don't pick on him anymore," Parker said. "We still go at it sometimes, but it's really cool to see how he's grown."
Blazevich's body has changed so much in one offseason that some recruiters have projected him as even bigger.
"I had a lot of coaches say, 'We see you now as tight end but you keep putting weight on like you do -- which is not the plan -- you could be 350 and a lineman.'" Blazevich recalled. "I said, 'No way.' The plan moving forward is to maintain my weight and get stronger, not necessarily bigger, just stronger and just get a lot faster. I'm looking to play around 240. A lot of coaches say now I'm the build of a college player."
Blazevich hasn't just sat back on his laurels and waited for recruiters to find him. The 2014 prospect from Charlotte (N.C.) Christian has been on the road. He's visited Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, LSU and Alabama. All of those schools have offered, along with several others.
"It's crazy," he said, "Before spring, nobody knew my name."
Blazevich, who had 32 receptions for just over 500 yards last season, sees himself as more of a receiving tight end. With his newfound mass, he should be able to block better than before as well.
"I haven't really played a true blocking tight end," he said. "I'm not afraid to hit guys. I love it but I feel like my greatest contribution to the team would be going out there and catching the ball."
Blazevich will certainly be a bigger target -- thanks to a special cook.
"I ate my heart out," Blazevich said. "I ate, like, five full meals a day. I want to thank my dear Mama, because she fed me."