It's insanely difficult to keep up in the college sports recruiting war, which is why the opening of Athlete's Village in January should finally give the Gophers ammunition to compete against recruiting powers like Ohio State and Michigan.
Take TCF Bank Stadium for example. It opened in 2009 and boasted the largest home locker room to any college or professional team in the country. It's been around for eight years and it's already outdated.
Trending now in college football are futuristic locker rooms, like the one the Texas Longhorns opened last week. Each locker cost $8,700 and features a 43-inch flat screen and glowing lights. They also include:
- Pull-out gear rack with patent-pending fan to dry helmets.
- Lock box with dual USB port.
- Ventilation system, adjustable to player's preference.
- Glowing white doors with backlighting.
"It's a bit of an arms race, I think as everyone kind of knows when it comes to facilities," Texas football coach Tom Herman told ESPN. "We needed something modern, something sleek, something that conveyed the message that we're the University of Texas and we're going to give our kids and student-athletes the best in the country."
While TCF Bank Stadium's locker room appears outdated compared to the luxury lockers players at Texas get, the Gophers are keeping up with upgraded lockers inside the football complex at Athlete's Village.
The 120-stall football-shaped locker room will be decorated with flat screen TVs, although not one for every locker like they have at Texas. From there, Gophers players will have easy access to everything their heart desires, including state-of-the-art meeting rooms, a football-specific weight room and a far bigger indoor practice facility.
But as cool as Athlete's Village appears to be, it'll be tough to reach the gold standard of national powers like Clemson and Oregon.
Clemson's football facility includes a nap room, laser tag, sand volleyball, basketball court, indoor slide, golf simulator, two bowling lanes, basketball arcade, and a barber shop. That's not to mention the state-of-the-art weight room and meeting room.
On top of that, all of the doors are accessible through fingerprint identification.
Oregon, with funding from Nike founder Phil Knight, has a football complex fit for a king.