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Adam Shaheen bulked up on Chipotle to become an NFL prospect

How do you go from unknown small school player to red hot pro hopeful? Burritos help.

Ashland tight end Adam Shaheen speaks to the media at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Dan Kadar / SB Nation

INDIANAPOLIS — Do you like burritos? If so, maybe you too can become one of the hottest prospects in the 2017 NFL draft.

Fine, that’s probably not true, but it helped Ashland University tight end Adam Shaheen.

At Big Walnut High School in central Ohio, Shaheen was a 195-pound two-sport basketball and football player Now, a few years later, he’s a 277-pound tight end prospect who will likely be one of the first 100 picks in April’s draft.

After high school, Shaheen picked basketball over football because he received a scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. As he said at the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday, Ohio State wasn’t knocking on his door. But after attending a Buckeyes game against Wisconsin, the football bug bit.

Shaheen made the decision to transfer to Ashland and pursue football, but he knew to play tight end he had to get bigger. And thus began an odyssey of dining at Chipotle (and working out, playing football, and generally being more athletic than those who build mass thanks to burritos).

“A lot of Chipotle burritos. A lot of burritos,” Shaheen said at the Combine on Friday. “In all honestly, it was a lot of burritos and a ton of consistency. I couldn’t go in and do one hard week of training and be lazy the next. It was a year and a half, two years of constant ‘sorry guys, I can’t hang out. I’ve gotta go eat.’”

At Ashland last season, Shaheen feasted on the competition, catching 57 passes for 867 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Now he has the NFL’s attention.

“Adam is a really interesting guy, and the more we dig the more we like on him,” Cincinnati Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin said earlier this week. “When you go back to his college basketball highlight tapes, you see a real natural athlete. You see a guy who’s a three-point shooter and is dunking. He’s a really interesting guy who dominates the competition.”