Vol fans saw a lot of changes to Tennessee’s football uniforms under former head coach Butch Jones. Under Adidas, UT saw the addition of the Smokey Grays for the first time in program history in 2013, Jones’ first season. Then when Tennessee moved to Nike prior to the 2015 season, a new edition of the Smokey Grays was added and have been used annually ever since (and twice in 2016).
Now it appears there will be another change to Tennessee’s football attire heading into the 2018 season, the first under Jeremy Pruitt. But this one is likely a far less controversial one.
It was already reported earlier this year that Pruitt would be moving away from the Smokey Grays this season and focusing on just the orange and white. Then we saw a video showing off the all-orange look and a return to some old school looks with black cleats. Now it looks like the Vols will be making more moves to return to an older school look.
According to Chad Fields on Twitter, Tennessee will be doing away with the checkerboard pattern on the stripe going down the helmet and down the side of their pants this season. Nike introduced that design in 2015 and has been a feature of all of UT’s home and away jerseys since, even on the Smokey Gray.
Sources have confirmed that @Vol_Football will be retiring the checkerboard stripe on the helmet and pants, and will instead have a single solid stripe. These uniform changes are added to the return of black cleats and the dropping of Smokey grey alternate. pic.twitter.com/lMtQRs4q7r
— Chad Fields (@CfieldsVFL) July 12, 2018
Fields told me when I reached out to him that his source inside the university is adamant that the uniforms have already been ordered and will arrive in Knoxville “before fall camp.” Fields went on to specify that “it’s possible things could change last minute” but that he doesn’t foresee that happening.
Tennessee moved to the single stripe down the side of the pants under Nike and has had that look since the 2015 season. Previously under Adidas, the Vols had two stripes going down the side of the pants on all their jerseys since the 1990s. Right now, it appears as though UT will keep the single stripe down the side, but the checkerboard pattern near the bottom of the leg will be gone.
Once the Vols suit up for fall camp in jerseys, we’ll get to see if the report is accurate. But all signs are pointing to Tennessee returning to basics for their uniforms this year.