Players and Coach Juluke share thoughts on the new locker room
Texas Tech unveiled their newly renovated locker room inside the Football Training Facility on Monday night, giving the players their very first look at their new home on campus.
Senior defensive lineman Talor Nunez noted that everyone reacted to their new digs with quite a bit of enthusiasm. Some of that was obviously because of the radical face lift the locker room received, but in a bit of a peek behind the curtain, they were equally thrilled to finally be able to ditch the visitor's locker room in Jones Stadium. That's where the team was relocated when the remodel on their everyday locker room began, which created a bit of inconvenience for everyone all around.
"We were just full of excitement. We've been waiting a long time for this, especially after having to run at least 100 yards just to get to your locker to change clothes, run 100 yards back to turn in your laundry, then you've got a couple more hundred yards to just get to class, so it's nice to be right next to the weight room again. We'll be able to get more work done, be more efficient in what we're doing each day, so we're just really excited."
But that doesn't mean the players aren't amped about the radical redesign of the FTF locker room. In fact, spending so much time over the last few months down in the catacombs of the visitor's locker room probably helped the players appreciate their new home even more
"(Before the remodel,) It was all wood, and those couches had been there for, I don't know, probably 10 years," he laughed. "We really took it for granted, and now I think everyone is really going to take care of this locker room, really, really take care of it, because after being down there in the visiting locker room - which it's the visiting locker room for a reason so our visitors don't enjoy being here - and we really didn't enjoy it that much, so we're going to take advantage of this brand new locker room."
As far as what stuck out to Nunez upon his first viewing, he likes the newly minted ventilation system for their helmets, pads, and the locker room as a whole. The team had a few thoughts, too.
"I'm an engineer, so I like the ventilation, but as far as the team, it's the fact that there's a (USB) plug-in inside of the locked compartment, so everyone can get to charge their phones while we're training and stuff."
Senior quarterback Nic Shimonek echoed many of Nunez's sentiments, particularly about being back at the home base after spending months in the belly of the football stadium.
"It's awesome. I think we really took this upstairs locker room for granted at times after moving (into the visitor's locker room in the stadium). It's nice to be back up here. It's more convenient obviously being right next to everything. Now I'm just ready to get started."
What the QB was really blown away by was the new-found efficiency of the space itself. Designers and all involved in the construction had a limited area to work with since they gutted the old locker room and rebuilt it from within, and Shimonek couldn't believe how much they were able to put into the room.
"Obviously the quality is very high. What I was telling Nunez was that it's crazy how they fit all this stuff (in here). It doesn't even look like the same size. It looks like they added a ton of stuff, but it's still spacey. It's awesome to have, it's convenient, and now I'm just looking forward to getting going."
For the Corsicana native, it now becomes about validating that he and his teammates deserved the new locker room. That stars with hard work.
"It's what you work for. The plan now is to go out and prove that this isn't for -- it's time to prove that we earned this, can continue to get good things, and what it boils down to is winning games."
While it was the first time for all of the players to get a peek, what most don't likely know is that a number of the coaches had yet to see the locker room, including running backs coach Jabbar Juluke. So, what were the first year assistant's thoughts?
"This was my first time seeing it, and I've been in a few, and it's just as nice as any others that I've been in before. The kids deserve it, the university deserves it, and it lets us know that we have growth, that we're getting better, and that we're updating our facilities to make sure we're competing with everyone else, and this is the place to be."
Juluke was able to glimpse the reaction from the players first hand, and he knew they were ready to see what their hard work from this summer would be rewarded with.
"Extremely excited. They were anticipating it. They were down in the other locker room a long time, and they didn't want to be in that visiting locker room any longer than they needed to be. But, they're very appreciative, very excited about what's going on. I think we have a good group of young men that are working extremely hard, and they deserve it. For future Red Raiders, they deserve it as well."
"When you get rewarded for your hard work and the things you're doing, it makes you work harder and appreciate the things that you do have. I think our kids are working extremely hard and are excited about this opportunity."