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Let’s say that I’m a really good WR for my high school (I most assuredly am not). If the recruiting battle fell to three schools - South Carolina, Georgia Tech, and Florida, for example - and I didn’t have a specific favorite among them in other areas, I would choose based on uniforms. Considering that I don’t really care what brand it is, South Carolina has a new star receiver.

 

It makes sense to want to play in a uniform that you think looks nice. I wouldn’t want to play for Arizona because of how terrible their uniforms are, unless they blew my expectations out of the water in other areas. I’m sure it’s like that for many recruits.

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54 minutes ago, Clintau24 said:

I totally understand individuals that have their brand loyalty quirks. I don't like to wear adidas simply cause of a few bad shirts I've previously owned. If a player makes a decision based on that, so be it. But for some to claim it's a larger problem across the board, I think that's a bit crazy.

 

I certainly wouldn't say it's a larger problem across the board, especially based on one interview, but I'd love to have the access to hundreds of players from different schools/brands to ask that question (might have to do it on a smaller scale at next year's B1G media days, though). Ultimately, I'd wager for every one or two KJ Hills there are likely eight or nine other players that feel the brands make no difference. There are so many other factors in a recruitment, too, but it's interesting to see someone admit it did play some sort of a role. 

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15 hours ago, AndrewMLind said:

I’m always interested to hear what the players have to say about uniforms, so I asked Ohio State wide receiver KJ Hill about them at Big Ten Media Days earlier this month. 

 

For some initial context, another reporter asked about his favorite alternate uniform during his career.

 

“I like the all-blacks,” he said. “If I had to choose between the red (home) or the white (road), I’d probably choose the white just because you’re icy with the white. I always wear the red cleats with the white because I feel like that standout. I have the white socks with the red shoes. The white with the red numbers and I might have the red gloves. You can do anything with the white.”

 

When I asked him specifically about the impact uniforms had on his recruitment, he said he refused to go to an Under Armour school (though he wouldn’t name which) because he didn’t like their gear. 

 

“If I don’t feel good then I don’t play good. That was one of my biggest nags in recruiting.”

 

Hill added that programs that wear alternate uniforms typically have an advantage over those that don’t. 

 

“I see recruits post it all the time. They post the all-whites we wore in Ann Arbor two years ago when Dwayne (Haskins) came in. They love those. They love the all-blacks. They have the different helmets, throw the visor on there. That’s part of football, that’s part of who you are, that’s your swag.”

 

At the end of the day, uniforms aren’t going to be the deciding factor. But for Hill, the brand and the materials they use are still important — at least important enough for him to rule out programs like Auburn, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Texas Tech (all of which extended an offer).

 

“I had the option to go wherever I wanted almost. I chose Nike all my life and I went to a Nike school.”

 

Thank you for posting this.  People here have to realize that this is who the big brands cater to: their customers, and not folks on message boards.   These things matter to athletes.  Imagine when a coach or AD at the UA school reads this. You lost a (potentially great) player because you chose the wrong brand?  It's why this stuff is important today, and why some things from yesteryear are staying in the past, and why things will continue to change.  Love it or hate it, learn to like it, because this is the world we live in, baby.

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15 minutes ago, Volt said:

 

Thank you for posting this.  People here have to realize that this is who the big brands cater to: their customers, and not folks on message boards.   These things matter to athletes.  Imagine when a coach or AD at the UA school reads this. You lost a (potentially great) player because you chose the wrong brand?  It's why this stuff is important today, and why some things from yesteryear are staying in the past, and why things will continue to change.  Love it or hate it, learn to like it, because this is the world we live in, baby.

 

The wrong brand for one world class athlete is a great brand for another world class athlete.  

 

Athletic departments shouldn't change their clothing suppliers just because one guy doesn't like it.    

 

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1 hour ago, Volt said:

 

Thank you for posting this.  People here have to realize that this is who the big brands cater to: their customers, and not folks on message boards.   These things matter to athletes.  Imagine when a coach or AD at the UA school reads this. You lost a (potentially great) player because you chose the wrong brand?  It's why this stuff is important today, and why some things from yesteryear are staying in the past, and why things will continue to change.  Love it or hate it, learn to like it, because this is the world we live in, baby.

 

Don’t most apparel companies pay the university for the rights to sell merchandise to the message board people? I don’t see how the athletes or the school are the customers in this scenario because they are getting the check or the free stuff, unless I have a misunderstanding.

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24 minutes ago, Tracy MidGrady said:

UA just isn't cool among youngins, its looked at as a old white guy brand

 

I'm pretty sure Nick Saban would still have top recruiting classes if Alabama was UA.

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1 minute ago, Tracy MidGrady said:

UA just isn't cool among youngins, its looked at as a old white guy brand

They way I see it as a young person is everybody loves a winner and the winner are outfitted by nike

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5 hours ago, WSU151 said:

 

I'm pretty sure Nick Saban would still have top recruiting classes if Alabama was UA.

Definitely, Notre Dame does just fine in recruiting, 99.9% of recruits don't use a brand to determine where they go but UA is still not cool.

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Winning matters more than uniforms, period. 

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21 hours ago, WSU151 said:

 

I'm pretty sure Nick Saban would still have top recruiting classes if Alabama was UA.

 

Right? And I’m pretty sure Saban recruits football players, not divas worried about wearing 5 or 6 logo armbands.

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16 hours ago, H11K said:

Winning matters more than uniforms, period. 

If that wasn't the case, Oregon would have 10 championships by now! 

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18 hours ago, H11K said:

Winning matters more than uniforms, period. 

I think ultimately yes, but uniforms are starting to play a bigger and bigger role in it with each passing year. 

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2 hours ago, bucky_bleichert said:

 

agree to disagree 

Of the last idk, let's say 20 national champs, how many of them have had out there, modernized, swagged out uniforms? Not many I can tell you that. Winning 110% matters more.

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14 minutes ago, H11K said:

Of the last idk, let's say 20 national champs, how many of them have had out there, modernized, swagged out uniforms? Not many I can tell you that. Winning 110% matters more.

 

 

I’m gonna go with winning...

 

Clemson

Alabama

Clemson

Alabama

Ohio State

Florida State

Alabama

Alabama

Auburn

Alabama

Florida

LSU

Florida

Texas

USC

LSU/USC

Ohio State

Miami*

Oklahoma

 

*modern uni

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33 minutes ago, H11K said:

Of the last idk, let's say 20 national champs, how many of them have had out there, modernized, swagged out uniforms? Not many I can tell you that. Winning 110% matters more to me

FTFY

 

can we stop pretending like this isn't a subjective thing (something that it is perfectly acceptable to agree to disagree on). Sure, by and large, it's a safe bet to say that the overwhelming majority of top recruits would seem to prioritize team success over "swag", but i don't think that anyone was levying a claim contrary to that (highest educated estimate put out there was 10%-20% of athletes for whom uniforms was a major consideration, i believe?).

 

Making claims like "winning matters 110% more [period]", in reference to the opinion of student-athletes is not only absurd because you are purporting to know the often undisclosed specifics behind the decisions made by recruits, but there is also significant room for error with the conflation between the the National Champs and the teams that recruit the most talented kids (where, while there is overlap, it is most certainly not a 1:1 ratio of recruiting class ranking => on-field success).

 

I echo @bucky_bleichert 's sentiment here. Agree to disagree.

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I bet the recruit that has a pro's mentality does not look at uniforms. If im a WR I'm looking at system, coaches, coaches stability, draft record at my position, qb, 2nd and 3rd qb, and future recruiting targets at qb. Then I'm looking at the facilities. The university location and weather, housing, education programs, traffic, transportation, and entertainment. Because all of those things will affect your life the 3 to 5 years you are there and beyond in to your professional career. Your college uniform will not have an affect on your life whatsoever. A very immature decision to base a pick off a "sweet uniform". If im a top coach, that's a red flag to me. I'm guessing that recruit will always need someone on his ass 24/7.

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1 hour ago, Scrumptious Ham said:

I bet the recruit that has a pro's mentality does not look at uniforms. If im a WR I'm looking at system, coaches, coaches stability, draft record at my position, qb, 2nd and 3rd qb, and future recruiting targets at qb. Then I'm looking at the facilities. The university location and weather, housing, education programs, traffic, transportation, and entertainment. Because all of those things will affect your life the 3 to 5 years you are their and beyond in to your professional career. Your college uniform will not have an affect on your life whatsoever. A very immature decision to base a pick off a "sweet uniform". If im a top coach, that's a red flag to me. I'm guessing that recruit will always need someone on his ass 24/7.

 

Hmm… Along these lines I wonder how many high-achieving, would-be academic scholarship recipients chose to attend a school based on school colors? Do kids choose the maroon of Chicago because they don’t like the purple of Northwestern? Or vice-versa?

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2 hours ago, Scrumptious Ham said:

I bet the recruit that has a pro's mentality does not look at uniforms. If im a WR I'm looking at system, coaches, coaches stability, draft record at my position, qb, 2nd and 3rd qb, and future recruiting targets at qb. Then I'm looking at the facilities. The university location and weather, housing, education programs, traffic, transportation, and entertainment. Because all of those things will affect your life the 3 to 5 years you are there and beyond in to your professional career. Your college uniform will not have an affect on your life whatsoever. A very immature decision to base a pick off a "sweet uniform". If im a top coach, that's a red flag to me. I'm guessing that recruit will always need someone on his ass 24/7.

 

The ham gets it. Modern top flight athletes are looking to go pro and get drafted/paid and whichever program can best sell that path are going to get the recruits. Sure getting to wear a one-off all chrome alt would be cool and all but would you prioritize that over the hundreds of millions of dollars of infrastructure that bama has set up for its semi-pros...I mean student-athletes?

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