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Florida Football

Anonymous Player Parting Thoughts: Dishing on the football facilities

July 23, 2019
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FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING COVERAGE
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During each off-season Inside the Gators interviews an anonymous departing player in order for him to share his thoughts on an array of topics regarding Florida Gators football.

Since we didn't do any Parting Thoughts Q&A sessions this year, we instead interviewed five departing players and asked more about specific areas and instances rather than a strict look at their time at Florida, highs, lows, games and such.

When you see differing opinions within a question, it is because multiple players can have differing opinions on what they experienced.

In this 10-part interview, no topic was off-limits as we discussed Jim McElwain, the strength and conditioning program, Dan Mullen, player assessments and much more.

As an aside, allowing a player to comment anonymously obviously has its benefits and downside. The goal of this feature is to give our readers an honest and freely expressive look at the Florida football team, but we also acknowledge the nature of anonymous comments and the stigma that can come with them.

NINE PART ANONYMOUS PLAYER PARTING THOUGHTS SERIES

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Note: These interviews were conducted before Florida unveiled the renovated football locker rooms. The picture included below of the chairs and TVs isn't the players' lounge.

Turning to the facilities what are your thoughts on where Florida stands in relation to the other big time football programs?

  • Our recruiting isn’t as stellar because our facilities are so far behind. We’ve had a defunct player lounge for two years now. When the coaches put in the X-box and PS4 it boosted moral and closeness because we would always stop by and play or play after practice/lifts. It's a little thing, but it makes a huge difference. I am just salty I won’t be around to use the new facilities. Our locker room is lacking but I’ve seen the new renovations and they are sick. White wood, very clean and modern look. We had a big problem with broken lockers, and this fixes that. I think well be right up there at the top with our locker room when it’s done.
  • The one thing we don't have that you see everywhere else is a place for the players to hang out. A lounge or game room or whatever you want to call it. When you go to Florida State  they have a player's lounge with two pool tables, arcade games, a basketball shooting game. They have these games where you sit down and race against each other. It looks like Dave and Busters. We don't have anything. Coach Mac was the first one to take it away when we were losing his last year. He said he did it because we had some stuff stolen out of it, but everyone kind of thought he did it because he didn't want us all hanging out together and talking about how bad we were. If we were all together he wanted some staff to be around to check all the negative talk. He was paranoid like that. 
  • We used to have a great little place where we’d come and play some video games and shoot pool, sometimes for money. They took away the sticks to the pool table and gaming systems. They stopped stocking the fridge with snacks and then moved it out of there. It ended up being a place a lot of guys would take naps after workouts before going to class. Now they converted half of it into a trophy room where they bring recruits into and the specialists and scout team uses it for a meeting room. I bet that if you look it up we are probably the only SEC team without a player's lounge. 
  • Way, way behind. The locker room is nowhere near other big time SEC schools, even smaller football programs are better off than we are. The weight room is still shared. We don't have any of the flashy technology that lures recruits in.
  • Our weight room is actually pretty solid. It’s kind of hard to go wrong with a weight room in my opinion because lifting weights is lifting weights. I rather do it somewhere grungy without air conditioning myself to really get in a workout. What I like is the Gatorade stuff. That is the only thing that sets us apart. 

What is the best thing and worst thing about Florida football facility wise?

  • The best thing is probably the weight room, nutrition facilities/equipment, and the Hawkins Center. The Hawkins Center is state of the art and they really take care of us there. It’s a nice building with plenty of spaces to meet and take care of academics. The weight room is just like every weight room with nice equipment in it. It could be bigger and less crowded but it is still solid. I love that we have a Gatorade Truck personally, its unique and really nice after practice. 
  • The worst thing are the dorms. Keys is okay, the rooms are way too small and you can hear EVERYTHING. The only good thing about it is that it is convenient when you play football, but almost everyone tries to live off campus as soon as possible. You don’t have certain things like a pool or a decent sized room at Keys. Springs is more of the same. People want their own place. It’s okay but only a few of players stay in dorms after freshman year.
  • We are way behind on facilities. The hardest thing to do is face recruits when they come in on visits because it is embarrassing what we have and all the coaches tell them that we are building something better, but the coaches have been saying that for years. When we sign a big time player, we are getting true blue Gators that want to come to Florida for Florida and don't care about the facilities. If you don’t have that love for Florida or you don’t see the big picture and you are on the border between choosing UF and another school and facilities matter to you, we lose those recruits who are basing their decision on those factors.
  • For facilities, opening our IPF is the best thing that happened while I was there. It is super nice and made life so much better for us as a team. To be able to not have to miss practices because of it storming or to be able to go in there and finish off a workout in the AC after being outside in 100 degree heat makes all the difference. 
  • The one thing almost every player agrees on is that we need new football dorms. Living on campus is required as a freshman, but it is a race to move off campus after that. I only heard one player ever say something good about it. In my junior year a freshman was talking about how much he loved it. He grew up living in a two bedroom apartment with his mom and sisters so he had to sleep on a pallet on the floor in the living room or later on the couch. His freshman season was the first time he ever had his own bed or bedroom. He loved living in the dorms. Everyone else hated it. 

To chat with other Florida fans about this article please visit The We Chomp Chat Forum.

Note: Please do not copy, paste or summarize any portion of this article to other message boards or Web sites, as it is a direct violation of copyright laws. Thank you.

Anonymous Player Parting Thoughts: Dishing on the football facilities

9,027 Views | 10 Replies | Last: 2 yr ago by UFgator52-20
SwampMagic
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We might have to cut Mullen and this staff some slack in recruiting until we get our new football building done.

Gogatorsashaub
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I see why we don't get the big time recruits. When the player said we only get the ones that are true gator fans it hit home for me. We have to do a better job supporting this staff with what they are working with and the cards they are dealt. How do you expect to hang with the big schools with facilities like this. When you travel would you rather stay at the 4 seasons or holiday inn?
deathtostatic
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Damn, this is harsh. Let's get those new facilities ASAP, please!
ChicagoGator
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What would the team do when it was thunderstorming and we didn't have the IPF? If it was game week before a huge game, say Alabama in the SEC Championship, and it was thunderstorming for 4 afternoons in a row, would they not practice all week in that scenario?
Mark Wheeler
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Staff
ChicagoGator said:

What would the team do when it was thunderstorming and we didn't have the IPF? If it was game week before a huge game, say Alabama in the SEC Championship, and it was thunderstorming for 4 afternoons in a row, would they not practice all week in that scenario?

They would try to wait it out. If not they would practice in the O'Dome or parking garage.
ChicagoGator
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Parking garage??? Wow
Mark Wheeler
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Staff
ChicagoGator said:

Parking garage??? Wow
Before the IPF, Florida has practiced in the parking garage in the parking lot by the practice fields. They have practiced in the breezeways/walkways under the stadium, etc... Anywhere they could take cover.
InAllKindsofWeather
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This series really hits home for most of our concerns as fans that harp on the facilities and recruiting. That new football facility will be a God send when it finaly opens. Shame that most of these players won't be here to experience it. There is a bright future ahead but it will take even more patience and time it seems.
UFgator52-20
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This is BS. Our football players should have the best of everything. There's no reason we shouldn't have facilities in the top ten.
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