Littlehead was only little in terms of his last name when arrived on campus from Sequoyah High School prior to last season. The freshman defensive tackle, listed at 305 pounds upon his arrival, ballooned up to a point that had coach Gundy worried.
"I didn't look at him very long (when he arrived last fall), to be honest. I thought he was going to be a health risk," Gundy said.
But through the spring and summer, Littlehead has made a 180-degree change and now figures to be a major factor on the interior of the Cowboy defensive line.
"I'll say this for Littlehead — he bought in," Gundy said. "As we all know, it's not easy to lose weight. He lost a considerable amount of weight early on and when I'd see him at the training table, he was really being selective in what he was eating. He really bought in to what coach Glass was asking him to do … he's stayed very consistent with his plan and he's worked hard. He looks a lot better."
While the numbers vary on exactly how much weight he's lost, the range discussed is notable — between 40 and 60 pounds.
Littlehead said he leans more to the former but he added that what coach Glass has done for him has changed his outlook on how much he can contribute to the Cowboys this season.
"I think I've lost around 40 pounds," he said. "I really bought in to what (coach Glass) said. His record speaks for itself, he went to Florida and won a national championship so he knows what he's talking about."
Littlehead is still hovering around the 300-pound mark on his 6-foot-3 frame and he said what coach Glass and the rest of the OSU strength and conditioning staff have him doing isn't always easy but the results are undeniable.
"It's been a lot of salad and grilled chicken, that's for sure. He's done everything from how my diet is, like drinking pop, now I hardly ever drink pop, now it's water and juices," he said. "We've really worked through a lot of stuff and I've done everything that he said and it's gotten me where I am now."
And where he is now is in position to make an impact where the Cowboys need it on the defensive interior.
"Chris has been doing an excellent job against the run, he needs a little work in the pass rush but he's doing an excellent job of keeping his pads down and shooting through the A-gap and that's huge for us right now," defensive coordinator Bill Young said.
And it's not just the coaches who have taken notice of the transformation Littlehead has undergone. Senior defensive end Richetti Jones raved about the attitude Littlehead has taken to better himself physically and as a football player.
"It'll help us out a lot, I mean, a whole lot," Jones said. "He has potential to be a great player, he's a young guy and he just needs a few games under his belt. For the most part, he just needs to try to get better every day. He's doing everything right at this point and he's responded well to what the coaches have asked him to do. What more can you possibly ask of a guy?"
Littlehead said he's excited to take the next step by getting out on the field and show the people who have been doubting OSU's defensive line wrong.
"I'm very eager, yes we're a little inexperienced and yes we lack a little depth but really I think we're going to be pretty good," Littlehead said. "Everyone has been working really hard and everyone seems prepared to do what it takes to get better."
And, according to his coaches and teammates, the physical transformation won't be the only positive thing Cowboy fans see from the redshirt freshman in the future.
"He's had a great attitude and work ethic ever since he stepped on campus," Young said. "He's going to be a real solid player for us here at Oklahoma State and he's only a freshman."