SBD/August 30, 2012/College Football Preview

Georgia Tech, Russell Athletic Design New Helmets; Uniforms Update Could Follow

The helmets with a "yellow jacket nest" design will also feature GT's logo
The Georgia Tech football team "may have new headgear to show off for its nationally-televised season opener" against Virginia Tech on Monday, and it is also possible “new uniforms are coming,” according to Ken Sugiura of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. Several GT players yesterday “posted a photo of a new helmet on their Twitter accounts that drew instant reaction, positive and negative.” GT Associate AD/PR Wayne Hogan acknowledged that the "helmet -- white with adjoining hexagonal cells outlined in gold, suggesting a yellow jacket nest -- was legitimate, though he didn’t know" if it would be worn against Virginia Tech. The helmet will “have the interlocking ‘GT’ logo applied when it is used for a game.” Hogan said that the football team and outfitter Russell Athletic “have worked on new designs for a uniform … with many different combinations of helmets, jerseys and pants in the mix.” Sugiura noted alternate uniforms “have become the rage in college football,” and a segment of GT's fan base “has called for untraditional uniform designs to keep up with the trend, which some believe can help in recruiting” (AJC.com, 8/29).

SOUTHERN STYLE: SEC football coaches in a Q&A with ESPN.com addressed uniform designs, and Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said, “It's extremely important to recruiting. We look at it as a chance to create energy, not just in recruiting, but for your current players. It doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but you'd be surprised to see the look on players' faces even when there's a change in the middle of the season.” Vanderbilt coach James Franklin: “I think they definitely affect recruiting. It's exciting. It's another way to brand your university and brand your team. The old saying -- look good, feel good, feel good, play good -- that's a part of it.” South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said, “I think kids nowadays do like a little bit of dazzle, but I think the tradition of the uniform has to sort of keep its place. Some of those last year were a little overboard. But if that's what the players wanted to wear, and they play well in those uniforms, then that's OK.” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen: “It shows you’re not afraid to think outside the box, or try something new or be creative” (ESPN.com, 8/28).
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