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Texas A&M readying state-of-the-art facility for post-Manziel era


The throng of media and NFL personnel that attended Johnny Manziel's pro day last week probably had to sidestep some construction sites. With a full renovation of Kyle Field underway, it's not a huge stretch to say that a good chunk of the Texas A&M campus has some sort of sports project going on right now.

Call it the "Johnny Football Effect" after two years of massive success for the program.

The facilities boom isn't limited to the stadium, either, as the school released new renderings on Thursday of the soon-to-be-completed Bright Complex, which houses the football team. The $16.8 million project will include a new locker room, training areas and other assorted touches you'll find in modern college-football facilities these days.

The old facility no longer fit the profile TAMU wanted.

"If you look at this facility (in its pre-renovation state), the space is great for the most part," Justin Moore, A&M's associate athletic director for football, told "But the branding and feel of the facility make it look like a lawyer's office. It looks like it's geared toward a coaching staff. When in reality it should be geared toward players. It should be geared toward a 16- to 20-year-old male."

Lawyers offices probably weren't the greatest tool to use in recruiting, so we're sure that head coach Kevin Sumlin is thrilled at what the new complex can do for the program. Not every inch is expected to be completed by the time the 2014 season rolls around, but the goal is to have a finished first floor done by the time fall camp opens.

"We looked at all of what people consider the top football facilities in the country," Moore said. "We looked at Oregon, Alabama, LSU and Oklahoma State. We wanted to pick and choose what we felt like were the best elements and what fit our program. We didn't want to make it so modern and so contemporary that it wasn't comfortable. The players have to live in it."

Left unsaid by Moore is if the school ordered handwoven rugs from Nepal to outfit the complex or if there will be a waterfall in the locker room. Guess a few things will be left up to the imagination until the formal unveiling.

TAMU has always had the resources to undertake massive renovations to update its football facilities, but it should come as no surprise that projects didn't start progressing until the school's move to the SEC was coupled with Manziel's arrival on the national stage. The success the team has had the past two seasons with their Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback will undoubtedly pay off for years to come thanks to all the interest in maintaining success after Manziel's departure to the NFL.

It might be a temporary pain to avoid the construction cranes and fences around TAMU right now, but the finished product makes it look as though the Aggies will have as nice -- if not nicer -- facilities than either the Texans or Cowboys when the time comes.

Whatever you do, though, don't call the Bright Complex, "The House that Johnny Built." That might get you in some trouble based on one recent legal entanglement.

Still, we're sure the Aggies will be hanging up a picture or two of Manziel in the complex once all is said and done.

*Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter **@BryanDFischer*.

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