“Dark Mode” just “first interpretation” of alternative jerseys for Vols sous Heupel

Tennessee will debut their black “Dark Mode” jerseys in Saturday’s game against South Carolina, but it won’t be the last time the Vols will wear alternate uniforms under the direction of the premiere head coach. year. Josh Heupel. The black and orange jerseys Tennessee will wear against the Gamecocks are just the “first interpretation” of the replacements the Vols will have under Heupel, whose first meeting with his new team in January included a discussion of diversifying uniform combinations. . He also said after Thursday morning’s visit that alternative uniforms “will appear periodically throughout the season.”

Regardless of what fans think of the new uniforms or of Tennessee breaking away from its traditional look to wear them, players have a say in what they wear in games. The team were motivated after practice on Wednesday when Heupel told them about this match that they would be wearing and a hood before Chris walker, who played for the Vols when they last wore black jerseys against South Carolina in 2009, showed off the full set. The team’s board of directors decides each Sunday which uniforms the Vols will wear for the next match.

Heupel said the origins of these particular alternate uniforms date back to his first day on the team and first meeting his new players, and the decision to go with the black jerseys was made in the weeks that followed. He suggested that the Flights might have taken a different direction with the replacements if other factors had been different, so the “Dark Mode” uniforms might not have the longest lifespan. The Tennessee of course wore a few variations of alternative “Smokey Gray” uniforms under Butch jones.

“First meeting I had with the football team the day I was introduced. I told you, we spent an hour and 15, an hour and 30 minutes talking about a lot of things that matter, some things that they felt were important, ”Heupel said Thursday morning. “The jerseys were at the end of this conversation. For me, the player experience is at the forefront of everything we do, right?

(Photo: Tennessee Athletics)

“There are some non-negotiable elements on my part and that of our coaching team in how you have to attack every day, whether it’s in the weight room, whether it’s in the classroom, whether it’s on the football field, right? But then there are some things you want to give them ownership and make the player experience as good as possible on and off the pitch. Uniforms are something that is important to them, and in some ways it is also important in the recruiting world.

“So for us it was something, I don’t know, maybe a month and a half, two months of work – I mean, the first month and a half that you’re just trying to get your feet on the ground and bring everyone here and go. But after that, that’s something we started talking to the administration about and worked on some designs.

“Obviously, just with the pandemic and everything that happened, supply chains and that sort of thing kind of limited our options as late in the process as we were, that’s how we decided to go. ‘use black and orange in this first interpretation. “

Heupel has made it clear that neither he nor the players want to stray too far from Tennessee’s classic orange and white look, but it should be noted that the Vols have worn four different uniform combinations in five games this season. In three home games, Tennessee wore their traditional setup against Bowling Green and Tennessee Tech on either side of the all-orange suit against Pittsburgh. The orange pants returned with the white road jerseys in Florida, but the Vols went with the all-white “Stormtrooper” look in Missouri.

These decisions are not made by Heupel, who joked that it was a good thing for the program, but he also said that Tennessee would regularly have an alternate uniform available each season and suggested that the Flights could continue to. opt for different combinations, including black uniforms for the rest of the season.

“My boy, you saw me at those press conferences. Me, choosing every model of uniform is probably not the right way to go for this program, you know what I mean? Heupel joked.

He continued, “I think we’ll have an alternate uniform that will appear periodically throughout the season. We have an amazing, the best college football uniform. Orange and white, the classic look, there’s nothing better, man. Like the helmet, the pants, the jersey, the suits you put together, our players love this uniform.

“But you are also able to turn things around and change things. Yes, we will have different combinations that will appear during the season. The uniforms suits that appear on match day, our board of directors (of the players), on Sunday they come and get medical treatment, these guys are part of the choice of what we wear for the next game.


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Roy C. Plante

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