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July 14, 2011
- See the bottom of this page for video from today
The six of them did the obligatory pose, feet shoulder-width apart, hands clasped, don't-mess-with-me glare stamped on their faces. Then they loosened up.
"When you're in the game, you're never worried about the jersey," sophomore receiver Ace Sanders said. "But you'll notice the difference."
Six South Carolina players - Sanders, Dylan Thompson, D.L. Moore, Eric Baker, Kenny Miles and Justice Cunningham - modeled the Gamecocks' updated Under Armour togs for media on Thursday, standing on the barren turf of Williams-Brice Stadium. The new uniforms are very similar to the unis worn by USC since it signed its apparel contract with Under Armour, but the company tweaked the design this year.
The stripes on the sleeves have been reversed, leading to the neck and highlighting the shoulders. The numbers and letters have shrunk, the belt buckles have been switched to a one-clasp plastic brand and a motto has been stitched onto the front jersey hem - the last four words of USC's alma mater, "Carolina, Forever to Thee."
A sharp, clean look, in USC's three colors, with the six Gamecocks modeling each combination. They said they didn't know which combos, if any, the team had settled on for the games on the schedule, but whichever ones the team chose would surely be fine.
"I thought they were awesome, I think all of us did," said Thompson, the redshirt freshman quarterback. "They're less to grab when you're running, that type of thing. They're much different, a lot lighter. You can move a lot better with these on."
The uniforms looked a bit sleeker, perhaps more difficult to get on but designed to loosen and adjust as the game goes on and sweat becomes a factor. The moisture-wicking technology will keep the uniforms from becoming too restrictive, and the lack of dragging shirt-tails can also help.
"Lighter, they're comfortable, they're tight," Moore said. "A tackler's going to slip right off of you."
Moore requested a special addition and received it, getting his full name added to the back of his jerseys. Although there was another Moore on the team in 2010 - walk-on long snapper Davis Moore - Moore thought it would be nice if he got all of his name on his back.
"I told (equipment manager Chris) Matlock, 'We got another Moore on this team, can I get D.L. Moore?' He said, 'Yes, you can do that.' It was just a big surprise for me."
Although Sanders, who shares a surname with redshirt freshman cornerback Cadarious Sanders, seemed a bit put out.
The Gamecocks mostly wore all-garnet at home last year and all-white on the road, but said they haven't decided on what combos they'll wear this year. They also didn't know if Under Armour would supply different helmets than the white hats the team has been sporting for several years, or any specialty uniforms for Homecoming or any extraordinary circumstance.
It was pointed out that Oregon, with uniforms designed by Nike, has so many different combinations that the Ducks can wear a different uniform every game. Thompson laughed and said perhaps that would be an option in the future.
"Yeah, get some feathers here," he said, motioning to his shoulders. "But nah, we like these. It's nice to change things up once in a while."
Photo Op and Dylan Thompson: