Commodores hope new football uniforms look 'fast,' feel 'sexy'

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 10:32pm
Image courtesy Vanderbilt athletics

As Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers descended the escalator, he unleashed a well-kept secret.

Though the senior captain had known for several months about the white helmet with a black and gold stripe down the middle and the Star V on both sides, most of his teammates had not. And they boisterously showed their approval.

The all-white uniforms (helmets, jerseys and pants) received the loudest applause from Vanderbilt players, fans and alumni when coach James Franklin unveiled 10 new combinations on Wednesday night at the Barnes & Noble Vanderbilt Bookstore on West End.

“It is going to add a wrinkle. It’s going to add some excitement,” Rodgers said. “We’re going to look a little faster out there maybe.”

Rodgers was one of 16 seniors who served as models in front of an overflow crowd that filled up the first floor of the bookstore and lined the upstairs railing to get a peak. The uniforms were designed by the coaching staff, with little input from the players, as director of football operations Mike Hazel and equipment manager Luke Wyatt heading up the project.

Along with the traditional colors of black and gold, white was added to the uniforms made with high-tenacity Cordura knit fabric made by Nike.

The white helmets, a first at Vanderbilt since 1986, might have stolen the show but several new additions excited the crowd.

For the first time since 1994, “VANDERBILT” is stitched on the front of the jersey, above the numbers. On the neck of the jersey is a gold anchor emblem and inside the collar are the words “Anchor Down,” a phrase Franklin has embraced over the last year. Star V logos sit on each hip of the pants and the gold jersey features black shoulders, black letters and black numbers — a welcome change from the hard-to-see white numbers and letters.

“It’s different,” running back Zac Stacy said. “It definitely was surprise to us when we first saw them. Better material. We love them. We love the different combinations.”

Franklin said he wanted new uniforms last year, but it was “too late in the process” leading up to his first season as a head coach.

“Not only do you have to play with a certain aggression on the field and play an exciting brand of football, but you also have to be sexy,” Franklin said.

The first look at the uniforms in action will come Aug. 30 at Vanderbilt Stadium in the season opener against South Carolina — a game that will be televised in primetime by ESPN. In conjunction with the “Black Out” promotion encouraging fans to dress in all black, Franklin said the team will don the all-black uniforms. That includes the popular black helmets, which the Commodores wore last year for the first time in 21 years.

“For me, it is more of a confidence boost,” Stacy said. “The new uniforms gives us that [mentality that] sort of we’re hanging with the big dogs too. A lot of people forget we play in the SEC just like everybody else does.”

16 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 7/12/12 at 5:14

Over 100 years of playing football and Vanderbilt is still looking for an identity

By: joe41 on 7/12/12 at 7:15

Rasputin, after 61 years, we know your identity. And it ain't good.

By: joe41 on 7/12/12 at 7:16

I didn't get a chance to see them in person, however, I will this Fall. Beat the Gamecocks.

By: yucchhii on 7/12/12 at 8:34

HMmmm, Feel sexy? What's that supposed to mean? Are they crossdressing or something? I don't get it, what's there to feeling sexy wearing a football uniform?

By: Klutchpike on 7/12/12 at 8:36

What lame brain at Vandy continues to schedule "Black Out" promotions in the middle of summer? I for one, will be cool, by wearing white! Go Commodores!

By: BigPapa on 7/12/12 at 9:02

new coaches always want to change the uniform. dont worry about that uni, worry about play on the field.

By: Specter47 on 7/12/12 at 9:13

oooo....the mighty Vandy is now stylin'! That'll make the difference...hmmm.

By: TITAN1 on 7/12/12 at 9:47

By: joe41 on 7/12/12 at 8:15

Rasputin, after 61 years, we know your identity. And it ain't good.

Well said, Joe!

By: TRHJR on 7/12/12 at 10:34

lets see ole joe41 , vandy football has changed their look for 40 of my 65 years

and they still loose for that 40 years you and the other three fans get on out there

By: NewYorker1 on 7/12/12 at 11:17

That's the only reason I watch football. To see those tight sexy hot bodies in those tight uniforms.

By: MetalMan on 7/12/12 at 11:50

New helmets, clothes, logos and an occasional coach,
Anything to keep us from looking like jokes,
But problems keep recurring when we take the field,
That’s when our pathetic performance is revealed.

By: wiseguy1 on 7/12/12 at 12:31

TRH & Metal ... stop looking in the rear view mirrow. Sure new unis are hype for the fans and fun for the players. All that aside, doesn't Franklin's spin on football feel different than the last 40 new looks of VU football?
Looking in your Vanderbilt History book won't assess the heart of the players in the uniforms.
What you see happening on West End is commitment by administration by investing $$ in facilties. Retaining sucessful men's baseball coach and sucessful women's basketball coach. Hiring a Men's golf coach that knows what it takes to win championships.

You guys don't feel the winds of change? I can feel it all the way to south Gerogia.

By: RTungsten on 7/12/12 at 2:38

The new white helmets are pretty awesome.

By: MetalMan on 7/12/12 at 6:00

ANCHOR DOWN’s what they’ve done for a century it seems,
They’re anchored to the ground like they’re in a daydream,
They need to weight anchor and get in the game,
Give up on the gimmicks and excuses lame.

By: 4gold on 7/13/12 at 6:49

Ah the UT fans are out in force. VU has solidly placed themselves in the middle of the conference and there are at least 6 State schools that would love to be doing as well. Fan numbers will never match the state schools but Nashville should do better to supoort the local team.

Frankly the uniforms look the same as always to me. Have not seen a decent pic of the helmets but I have always hated all white. They look like the Varnderbilt generics. I like more gold myself.

As for the blackout for opening game? White outs and blackouts are getting so old. Try a gold out for once? Wake Forrest manages to pick a gold and frankly I dont think it matters. Any shade looks better than black.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville!

By: NewYorker1 on 7/13/12 at 10:36

I want to see the back sides of the guys in the photo. I want to see the uniforms from the back. Yeah, that's it, the uniforms.