Photo: Chief Borders; Credit: Florida creative media
The James W. “Bill” Heavener Football Training Center at the University of Florida is officially open.
After beginning construction in 2020, the anticipation for Florida’s move on Sunday has built over time. They were initially scheduled to move-in at the end of July, but the mid-August date still gives them access prior to the 2022 season.
"No question it’s going to affect recruiting," head coach Billy Napier said about the facility on Monday. "I think, more importantly to me, it’s going to affect the quality of experience for current players and scholar-athletes."
The idea for the state-of-the-art facility has been in place dating back to 2016. Sixth-year senior linebacker Ventrell Miller said it was a part of the recruiting pitch when he was being drawn to Florida in 2017.
Miller said he believes the resources available “will definitely change Florida forever!”
Others shared the same sentiment, with a bevy of players and coaches expressing their gratitude for making the $85 million facility a reality.
Scholarship long snapper Marco Ortiz, safety Donovan McMillion, Assistant AD of Recruiting Strategy Katie Turner and co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Patrick Toney make up just a fraction of the notable social media comments regarding the impressive stand-alone building.
Below is a short video tour from the Florida Gators Football Twitter account, and more reactions from the features the 142,000 square feet building provides.
Florida recruits have also taken notice of what the training center could provide as they narrow down options of where to continue their athletic careers. The state-of-the-art facility opens on the heels of a fantastic recruiting weekend for Florida, landing four total commitment between the 2023 and 2024 classes.
They hope the new resources for athletes helps lure in more talent over time.
Duncanville (Texas) 2024 five-star edge rusher Colin Simmons inferred that the facility was so nice it woke him up after midnight.
Even former Gators have taken notice, including former Florida wide receivers Chris Doering and Kadarius Toney, as well as athlete Trey Burton.
Stay tuned to AllGators for continuous coverage of Florida Gators football, basketball and recruiting. Follow along on social media at @SI_AllGators on Twitter and Florida Gators on Sports Illustrated on Facebook.