BLACKSBURG – For the first time in more than 100 years, the Virginia Tech Hokies will wear black when they suit up in the Nike Pro Combat System of Dress for Monday night’s game against Boise State at FedExField.
The uniform colors mark a departure from the school’s distinctive maroon and orange combination, but it is not without precedent. The black uniforms reference the cadet gray-and-black colors worn by Virginia Tech’s original football team. The uniform color scheme draws inspiration from the school’s large Corps of Cadets – integral to Virginia Tech’s unique football culture – and is being worn in their honor.
This will not be the only time a Tech team wears a special uniform. Two other of Tech’s teams – the men’s basketball team and the baseball team - will wear a special uniform at some point during the course of their respective seasons as well.
As most Tech fans know, the 850-member Corps of Cadets is one of only two senior military colleges in the country existing within a major state university. A cornerstone of Virginia Tech’s heritage, the regiment loyally supports the football program and helps make Lane Stadium one of the loudest in the country.
In creating the Virginia Tech Nike Pro Combat System of Dress, Nike designers focused on the cadets and also another point of pride for students: the school’s commitment to scientific inquiry. These influences are evident throughout the uniform.
“Ut Prosim” (That I May Serve), the motto of the school and of the cadets, appears inside the back yoke of the jersey, on the back of the helmet and on the inside cuff of the gloves. The school’s trademark VT logo forms when the palms of the gloves face outward. Jersey numbering, outlined in gray, is rendered in burnt orange with a Chicago maroon fade-in to form an all-over technology-inspired pattern – a nod to Virginia Tech’s engineering identity. The circuit-board pattern is reprised in a shoulder graphic and in bands running down the sides of the pants. The wide stripe also bisects the matte black helmet. Corresponding footwear in orange and black carries the same print to complete the uniform.
The Nike Pro Combat System of Dress captures the essence of Virginia Tech while delivering significant performance benefits. The uniforms are 37 percent lighter than current designs, relieving players of extra weight in a game that demands top speed. Even when wet, these uniforms are lighter than their standard-issue counterparts when completely dry. Dual-density foam padding provides critical protection and greater mobility than traditional pads for unencumbered speed. The Nike Pro Combat base layer allows for specific pad placement to suit every position, providing a highly customized solution.
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