Hard work, family, win, graduate -- these are all examples of things Bill O'Brien and his coaching staff want to be pillars of the Penn State program.
So it should come as no surprise that those are some of the words that are on the actual pillars in the Nittany Lions' weight room.
The entire Penn State weight room is currently undergoing a makeover, and in addition to new workout equipment, the Lions have a new strength and conditioning coach in Craig Fitzgerald, who is looking forward to the changes that are about to be made.
"The weight room is now going to be right up there with the whole facility football wise, as far as location and as far as being a huge upgrade too," Fitzgerald said. "I think it's going to be by far the best in the country. I can't see another one being better than this."
Though the finishing touches on the weight room -- which will feature custom-made equipment -- won't be finished until early May, Fitzgerald said it might be a good thing, because players are still learning his system and he does not want them to rush into anything and over do it.
Fitzgerald noted that the players on the Penn State roster are a very disciplined group and they are starting to understand the new strength and conditioning program, citing the fact that players are starting to correct other players in workouts as a sign of comprehension.
Players are also giving their own ideas about some of the changes in the weight room. And though Fitzgerald said it was mainly he and the other coaches who came up with the words for the pillars, linebacker Mike Mauti had his own idea on as to put under the word "pride" on a wall.
"We have an American flag [in the weight room], and Mike Mauti said 'you know coach, you should put an American flag underneath that Pride sign,' " Fitzgerald said. "So the next day we had that [flag] laid up, so he's pretty excited about that. I don't think you can have enough American flags in your weight room."
Though Fitzgerald said some of the physical changes in the Penn State players are not as quite as obvious to him because he works out with them often, O'Brien said he is seeing changes and notably pointed out offensive tackle Adam Gress. Fitzgerald also said he was impressed with Gress and named Jordan Hill, Mauti (who is recovering from a torn left anterior cruciate ligament), and Silas Redd as other guys who have stood out to him.
"You can see where Fitz and his assistants and his program have had a direct effect on guys already, like Adam Gress," O'Brien said. "Right now you can see that the offensive tackle for us has had a heck of a winter and has already changed his body. You go from looking one way to looking more like a V shape, and that's what you're looking for in your linemen."
Fitzgerald spent the past few seasons at South Carolina, where he had the same position as he has for the Lions. And though the Gamecocks had a successful program and Fitzgerald said he had a good relationship with Steve Spurrier, he said he's excited to be at Penn State.
"I thought this was a new challenge, I think Billy O'Brien is the perfect guy for it," Fitzgerald said. "I think Penn State is really lucky to have Coach O'Brien. I think he's ready to take this on, and he had other opportunities and he said 'I want this one' and he grabbed it. And I said 'you know what, I want to get on that, too.' "