It’s not always about how you play.
Look good. Feel good. It sounds elementary, but now that we’re in the middle of a crazed uniform era that transfixed college football in the mid-2000s, uniforms and helmet options are often leading conversation pieces on the recruiting trail after scheme fit, Xs and Os and professional football future are discussed with recruits.
Improved uniform design and swagged out helmets are for the younger generation, not coaches in their mid 50s and 60s worried about winning football games. But they too know the importance of metallic helmets, loud cleats and stylized jerseys and the effect it may have on a potential prospect.
“You drive down a highway and you look at a billboard and it says, ‘you just looked at this billboard, you should use it as advertisement’ — it’s the same philosophy as uniforms,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said after the Cowboys were experimenting with grey in their color options in 2013. “It’s a marketing tool. It grabs the attention of the young men we’re recruiting.”
Several Power 5 teams have debuted fresh new looks this season including Pitt, Michigan State, West Virginia and Baylor, among others.
How often do you see 17-year-old high school seniors trying on multiple uniforms combinations during visits? Always. According to an ESPN survey, more than half of college football players — 52 percent — believe how they look on the field translates to how they’ll play. Oregon was the trendsetter and now, numerous teams have pushed the envelope with Nike, Adidas and Under Armour when it comes to unique uniform design.
Next_Gen_Uniforms on Instagram over the years has created several timeless alternate options several programs should look into and try incorporating down the road: