OU football: Tiffany Byrd brings sports nutrition to Sooners

Byrd estimates she's one of around 50 directors of sports nutrition around the country. OU added the position earlier this year, joining a growing trend in athletics.
by Jason Kersey Modified: September 5, 2013 at 5:32 pm •  Published: September 5, 2013

“Back in the old days, guys were working hard, but they weren't putting the right things in their body,” Schmidt said.

Senior receiver Lacoltan Bester readily admits he was one of those guys.

He transferred to OU last summer from East Mississippi Community College, and said he gained some unhealthy weight over his first several months on campus.

“I was just eating fast food all day,” Bester said. “Coach Tiff showed me how to eat the right way and maintain my healthy weight. It's helped me move faster and be quicker.”

Bester went from rarely playing as a junior last year to seeing significant action this season. Since the spring, he's worked mostly with Oklahoma's first-team offense.

The Sooners who have benefited most from Byrd's presence, though, are the big boys up front.

Bill Bedenbaugh was hired as Oklahoma's new offensive line coach last February, and immediately worked to increase his new players' toughness and physicality. Part of that was gaining weight.

“It was just getting them to realize that there is a better weight to gain,” Byrd said. “You still need to be powerful. You still need to be explosive and you still need to be fast. So if you put on the wrong kind of weight — if you increase your fat mass and you don't need to — then that hinders you on the field.”

Oklahoma's offensive line seemed to get better as Saturday's season opener progressed, with the group eventually wearing down Louisiana-Monroe's defensive front. The Sooners rushed for 305 yards in the win.

“When you go into two-a-days, it's about who's gonna work the hardest,” Schmidt said. “But as soon as you come out of camp, who's gonna recover? You see a lot of teams that lose. They might not be that bad of a team, but they're still fatigued from camp.

“This was the final piece. The players have bought into conditioning; they bought into what our coaches do. This was just the third piece that we needed to add, and I think you can notice a difference. Wherever the team is — wherever they move — she's gonna be there. It's another shell in their vest.”

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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