Maryland aims to catch recruits' eyes with new football uniforms

Terps will have 32 combinations of sleeker Under Armour outfits to choose from

  • Linebacker Kenny Tate gives an up-close look at one of the Maryland football team's new uniform combinations.
Linebacker Kenny Tate gives an up-close look at one of the Maryland… (Baltimore Sun photo by Gene…)
August 22, 2011|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

COLLEGE PARK — With overhead spotlights, a runway and blaring pop music, Maryland football players unveiled new uniforms Monday night that update the team's brand with more intricate designs and a lighter, sleeker look designed to appeal to recruits.

The players staged a fashion show, strutting across a ramp at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on campus.

The uniforms are noteworthy for how many there are. With four jersey colors, four pants colors and two helmets (black and white), the team will have 32 combinations to select from. The jerseys say "Maryland" on the front.

Gone are the days of teams having simply a "home" and an "away" option. The Terps can go heavy on black, red, white or gold, or can mix and match.

"You probably see more mixes than you usually see," said Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour, which designed the lightweight uniforms in consultation with Maryland.

Among the distinctive features is a turtle-shell pattern — called "terraprint" — on the white helmets. "Nobody has anything like that," said Walker Jones, Under Armour's director of sports marketing. There is also a brightly colored pattern on the shoulders of some of the jerseys.

Also new: helmets with no lettering and jerseys with no player names. Previous Maryland helmets had "Terps" on the side. "We have a lot going, so we didn't want a busy helmet," Jones said.

The helmets invoke the state with a stripe down the middle depicting the Maryland flag in a reduced, repeating pattern.

It will be up to the four captains to make their uniform choices before game days. Head coach Randy Edsall said he would also like to invite fans to participate — possibly by voting on their favorite color choices.

The uniforms are part of an updating of Maryland's brand. The football uniforms and field markings — which in recent years have highlighted the word "Terps" — will more prominently display "Maryland" much as Texas football features "Texas" on its uniform fronts.

With a new coach and a nationally televised home opener against Miami on Sept. 5, Maryland is trying to excite its fan base. Season-ticket sales have slipped in recent years, and not all the suites in Byrd Stadium's Tyser Tower have been leased.

Edsall has already been showing off the uniforms — or at least renderings — to recruits.

The current players seemed to like the new uniforms. "You look good, you play good," wide receiver Ronnie Tyler said.

"Boys, you look pretty, man," Plank told the players after they were introduced.

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