It hasn't taken long for Alabama's brand new multimillion-dollar weight room to make an impact on the recruiting trail.
"Sweat is just your fat crying" may be one of the mantras found in Alabama's strength and conditioning haven, but I can think of a few more signs Alabama could put up around the facility to speak directly to recruits:
"Come for the weight room, stay for the crystal footballs."
Or my personal favorite...
"Better than Auburn's weight room."
Jokes aside, we knew this extravagant weight room was going to be a major draw on the recruiting trail, and according to Greg Ostendorf of ESPN.com, recruits in attendance for Alabama's recent junior day were extremely impressed after getting a full tour of the facility.
Here are some of the reactions, per Ostendorf:
"Crazy! It was outrageously immaculate, and in the most ideal position in relation to the indoor facility, the locker room and the training room."
"It’s a real big weight room. They’ve got nice speakers in there. With the new speakers they’ve got, it’s crazy. They were playing rap music, music I listen to."
"It’s awesome—the best looking and biggest weight room I’ve ever seen."
Ostendorf also cites a reaction from quarterback recruit Jacob Park's father:
The facilities, they’re very impressive. When you win three national championships out of four, I guess you can have things like that. Very, very, very big weight room. They just built it two weeks ago.
The impact the weight room has on recruits' parents, guardians and caretakers is a very underrated aspect of the investment. They'll be able to see that their recruit is training with the best equipment available in a top-notch, elite facility. Not only will that improve their recruit on the field, but it's huge in regards to safety, health and the overall well-being of a player.
One of the big problems that you'll run into any gym or weight room is lack of space and/or equipment because of that lack of space. That means players are either: 1) not getting enough reps because they need to wait their turn on a piece of equipment; or 2) are just frankly uncomfortable. If you're not comfortable when you work out, chances are you're not going to get in a good workout.
Alabama has alleviated that problem by building this 37,000-square-foot weight room, according to rolltide.com. The weight room is connected to the indoor facility, the fields, the training room and then the locker room.
The weight room reportedly boasts 20 combination racks with the platforms built into the ground, which is a much safer option than having racks on a platform. Also consider the fact that there's 20 of these things and they are combo racks, so 'Bama could hypothetically have 10 pairs of players doing squats while 10 more are doing bench press at the same time.
This room is off-the-charts efficient, and that's not even including the cardio area on top, the nutrition center and a state-of-the-art sound system. I encourage you to watch this video on rolltide.com for a better look at the room.
Alex Scarborough of ESPN.com also tweeted out a picture that allows us to get a glimpse of the second level:
Alabama strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran is something of a celebrity showing off his new weight room. twitter.com/AlexS_ESPN/sta…— Alex Scarborough (@AlexS_ESPN) February 27, 2013
Championships start in the weight room, and that's the message that Alabama is giving to these recruits and their families. Winning takes hard work, discipline and sacrifice. The emphasis on that is obviously there at Alabama, considering the $9 million it invested into this new weight room.
Is Alabama the biggest recruiting draw in college football?
Don't think that won't play a part on the recruiting trail. When push comes to shove, having the chance to train in an elite facility with high-quality equipment could be a major factor with elite recruits in choosing between Alabama and another big-time college football program.
Judging by the reaction from the aforementioned recruits, the weight room is already playing its part on the recruiting trail.
It's not as if the Crimson Tide needed the help, but Nick Saban and his staff will be getting it anyhow.