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New Stadium Will Pay Dividends in Recruiting

faustadiumrenderingaerial09-16-10There's not much to say about playing football games in a facility that was built in 1959, is well behind current amenity and atmosphere standards, and is located 15 miles from your campus.

That's exactly why the FAU coaching staff has been steering clear of their current home at Lockhart Stadium at times; knowing that there would be no tempting value in showing the predominantly high school game facility to potential prospects.

That can hurt though, when the premier offering cupboard is left bare after signing day. FAU has lost some of their better prospects in the last two classes to larger programs.

"Last year we got down to the last couple of days with some great players we ended up losing", said Kurt Van Valkenburgh, who serves as both defensive coordinator and head of the Owls' recruiting efforts. "But we were in battles with Wisconsin, Louisville and programs like that. If we had landed one or two of them we would have landed a phenomenal class, but we didn't."

With time, comes change, as the Owls' will officially break ground on "FAU Stadium" on Friday afternoon.

From a recruiting standpoint, it will mean the ability to showcase a full weekend game experience, highlighted by a contest that takes place in a brand new venue residing within the heart of the University.

It should also mean commitments from better talent.

"It makes your game week, and will be something that will impress them" said Van Valkenburgh of future recruits. "A showcase to be in, and a real asset to us all around."

Van Valkenburgh expects the project to have an immediate impact, while helping avoid the line snaps which allowed some of the bigger fish to get away in the past.

"When we start bringing them in January, it (stadium) will be far enough along that you can go out there and they can see it. That should be a big plus. From an overall recruiting standpoint, it's the last piece of the puzzle to come in."

Thoughts from current Owl standout running back Alfred Morris confirm the notion.

"It would have made a bigger impact", said Morris. "It would have made me more eager to come."

He's a solid benchmark, for sure.


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