FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas players got a chance to tour their new building, the Fred W. Smith Football Center, after a team meeting Friday night.
Social media made it clear they approved of their new home.
Several players posted photos and videos of the new facility, which is being completed this month. The facility houses new locker rooms, coaches offices, team meeting rooms, training rooms and has been attached to the Walker Pavilion.
“Fayetteville is now home to the nicest football facility in the country,” Arkansas tackle Brey Cook posted on his Twitter page, attaching a picture of the locker room.
Center Travis Swanson posted a 15-second video on his Instagram page as well, showing the reaction of players as they walked around the locker room. Swanson then posted a picture of himself sitting at his new locker.
“The new locker!! This new facility is unreal!!!” Swanson wrote on his Twitter page.
Arkansas also showed the facility off to recruits who were in town over the weekend as well. Several of them posted their reactions and thoughts on the facility.
Bret Bielema said last week at Southeastern Conference Media Days the Razorbacks will take ownership of the new football center Monday.
He specifically mentioned a players’ lounge that has 20 chairs in it, joking that he feels like “slapping our guys” because “they have it way too good.”
“It’s going to be one that I think is off the charts,” Bielema said. “I’m not saying we’re going to be the top in the country, but we’re definitely in the upper division now both in the locker room, the training room equipment room, players’ lounge.”
Arkansas enjoyed a big week on the recruiting trail, landing seven commitments for the 2014 recruiting class and another for 2015.
Four of the 2014 commitments came Saturday, when Dutchtown (La.) receivers Torrance Mosley and Corey McBride, Metairie (LA) Archbishop Rummel High cornerback Henre’ Toliver and linebacker Dwayne Eugene announced plans to become Razorbacks. They joined Dallas Bishop Dunne offensive lineman Jovan Pruitt, Grossmont (Calif.) Community College cornerback Kweishi Brown, and Lassiter (Ga.) cornerback Chris Murphy as Arkansas commitments this week.
Arkansas now has 12 verbal commitments for 2014.
Arkansas also added a verbal commitment for 2015 in Conway High offensive lineman Colton Jackson on Saturday. Verbal commitments are non-binding.
“Recruiting is a process and that process is really starting to be rewarding. This day is going up, up, up! #hardworkpaysoff #NeverYield,” Bielema tweeted Friday.
Arkansas football recently posted a video showing off its 2013 uniforms. There are no drastic differences, but the Razorbacks did some minor tweaks.
One of the biggest was eliminating the gradient numbers, which complies with new NCAA rules. Numbers from the 2012 jerseys were difficult to decipher last season because of the faded pattern. The new numbers are solid colors (red numbers outlined in black on white jerseys, white numbers outlined in black on red jerseys).
The lettering on the white jerseys have changed as well. Arkansas was stitched onto the chest in a gray font last season. It has been changed to red for 2013.
Another change: Arkansas’ alternate white helmets now have a red Razorback on them instead of the white logo that was outlined in red. In addition, Arkansas has the phrase “Woo Pig Sooie” etched in the inside neckline of its new jerseys, replacing the Bobby Petrino-era phrase of “Ring the Bell” from last season.
Bielema used the national stage at SEC Media Days to let his hometown of Prophetstown, Ill., know he was thinking about them last week.
A fire ravaged the small town’s historic business district Monday, causing an estimated $1 million in damages. Two brothers (a 16-year-old and 12-year-old) admitted to police they were involved Tuesday, according to the Quad City Times.
“My hometown that I came from had a fire that took down a number of buildings in my town,” Bielema said. “When you only got 2,000 people, there’s not a lot of buildings. It wiped out quite a few.
“I appreciate all the people reaching out to me over the last couple days. It means a lot to me. Can’t wait to help support my hometown in any way possible.”