Dabo Swinney's mission at Clemson has long been to turn the Tigers into a Top 10 program. His team took a large step towards that goal in 2012 with a 25-24 Chick-fil-A Bowl victory over LSU, which vaulted the 11-2 Tigers to No. 9 in the Coaches' Poll and No. 11 in the AP Poll.
Clemson took another major leap forward last week with the long-awaited opening of its indoor practice facility.
"It's going to enhance our off-season, our strength and conditioning, our camps. It's a huge part of our recruiting," said Swinney. "There's just a lot that this facility is going to represent. It's limitless. We were probably missing about 14 days a year where there's just nothing you can do (outside). You can go full speed in here every single day. We all know how hot it is here in the fall. You prepare them in the heat but maybe when you're trying to get their legs back and you're getting them ready for that first game, to be able to bring them inside a time or two to help them recover from what they've been through in camp and practice full speed."
We posted a 360-degree view over the weekend, along with our recommendation for who Clemson should contact for its upcoming graphics work.
Swinney noted that a chief aim of the facility, perhaps the very top goal, was to enhance Clemson's recruiting. The Tigers will use the facility not only to recruit future players, but former ones as well. The facility will house a lounge for former players, complete with lockers and NFL paraphernalia, to make former Tigers as comfortable as the present and future players.
"That 'wow' factor is a big part of it," Swinney said of the facility's charm. "You walk in this facility, you say 'wow'. It's like when you go buy a car. You can jump in a car and some of them you go, 'Okay, this is going to work. This is going to get me where I need to go and that's fine.' Some of them you get in and you go, 'Wow!' That's what this is. This has got a wow factor to it."
"If our competition is providing these types of resources and we're not, well, you're not on a level playing field. We're still not quite there but we're closing the gap and this facility is a step in the right direction."