September 24, 2009

Locker upgrades excite players, recruits

Gene Chizik believes in building a hard-nosed, disciplined football team.

But Auburn's head coach also believes in rewarding his players for all their hard work. Sometimes he likes those rewards to come as a surprise such as the one they received before the opener against Louisiana Tech when they walked into a remodeled locker room at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

"It was a big surprise," senior defensive lineman Jake Ricks said. "We didn't find out until we actually walked in here after Tiger Walk for the first game. I think Coach Chizik is doing a great job.

"It means a lot to us, especially with us having to be in it about every other day."

The numerous upgrades to the locker room include a new entry and exit, back-lighted displays for Bo Jackson and Pat Sullivan's Heisman Trophys, which are brought over before each game, a large display featuring AU's former All-American's and College Football Hall of Famers, more T.V.'s, and an upgraded sound and lighting system.

The lighting system includes four spotlights that spell out four words on each corner of the giant AU in the middle of the floor: Attack and swarm for the defense, and fast and furious for the offense.

The players also received new nameplates, which have their name and number etched on them. The players will be able to take their nameplate with them after their AU career ends.

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