Recruits like flashy new things. Whether it be neon helmets, all-black uniforms or iPads available for every player in a lounge, they like new toys.
The University of Oklahoma thought outside the box and came up with something that may make a prospect's head turn—his living arrangements on campus.
How would a football player like this view while studying?
Headington Hall is that head-turner. It is stunning.
The five-story student housing facility was privately funded and cost an estimated $75 million, according to a fact sheet provided by Pete Moris, Oklahoma Assistant Director of Athletics, Communications.
Among the substantial donors to help fund this project were 2008 Heisman-winning quarterback Sam Bradford, who made a $500,000 donation, and former Sooner running back Adrian Peterson, the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 2012.
Peterson made a $1 million donation to Oklahoma athletics, "including $500,000 that was
designated for Headington Hall." According to the school, Peterson's $1 million pledge was "the largest ever made by a former OU football student-athlete."
Headington Hall is located across the street from Gaylord Family—Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The convenience factor is a huge selling point. After a hard day of drills or full-contact scrimmages, having a short walk to home is something any player would want.
Headington Hall sounds like a world-class resort.
"It boasts apartment-style accommodations in two- and four-bedroom units," according to the school. More:
The building includes central dining, computer labs, study rooms, and theatre, as well as a Faculty-in-Residence unit.
The Sam Bradford Training Table is a state-of-the-art dining facility that fulfills the dietary and nutritional needs of all OU student-athletes — not just the residents of Headington Hall —in a vastly-expanded modern space.
Headington Hall also has individual restrooms. Most college dorm dwellers have never experienced having their own restroom. Sooner receiver Shepard Sterling has.
“That’s definitely the best thing,” Shepard told the Oklahoman's Jason Kersey.
“You get your own space. You don’t have to wait on one guy to take a shower. [Sooner teammate Durron Neal] and I did good about it, but now it’s just, if we’re about to go out, I can get my shower and he can get his.”
That's a big deal. So is having a microwave and refrigerator already set up in the kitchen.
Headington Hall welcomed student-athlete residents on July 28. The remaining students will move in sometime in August.
Head coach Bob Stoops had this to say about Headington Hall in an official statement:
As I’ve said before, Headington Hall is truly a game-changer for the University of Oklahoma. There’s nothing else like it on another campus in America. Headington Hall is much more than a state-of-the-art residence hall, it’s a place that generations of Sooners will be able to call home.
I’d particularly like to thank Tim Headington, Adrian Peterson, Sam Bradford and the many other great OU donors who made this moment possible, along with President [David] Boren, Joe Castiglione and all of the individuals involved in the design and construction process.
Headington Hall is located at the corner of Jenkins Avenue and Lindsey Street. It is fully funded and operated by Oklahoma's athletics department. The housing facility will hold 380 students, with no more than 180 of them student-athletes.
Student-athlete-only dormitories have been forbidden by the NCAA since 1996. The NCAA bylaws state, “Athletics dormitories shall be defined as institutional dormitories in which at least 50 percent of the residents are student-athletes.”
The dorm is named after former Oklahoma tennis player Tim Headington, who also was a major contributor to this project.
A complete pictorial tour of Headington Hall can be seen here.
All quotes, facts and pictures were provided courtesy of OU Athletics Communications, unless otherwise noted.