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CHICAGO — Nebraska players and fans learned of NU's much-awaited alternate uniform design in a most inauspicious way.
A 30-second, unlisted YouTube video commercial uploaded Thursday night by user “adidasfootball” — the Huskers' uniform and apparel partner — made the rounds Friday morning. Coach Bo Pelini and the Nebraska players he brought to Big Ten media days had all seen the video and confirmed it as authentic.
Adidas took down the unlisted video and reposted it as a listed version by 11:15 a.m. An Adidas spokesman then confirmed to The World-Herald that Nebraska would wear the uniforms Sept. 29 in a home game against Wisconsin, which will unveil its own alternate uniforms for the game next week; Adidas has dubbed the game its first “Unrivaled Game.” The game's theme: “The Quick and The Red.”
NU's look: a black helmet and facemask with a red “N” and single red helmet stripe. A “techfit” red jersey with a giant black ‘N' on the front, a small black number on the upper left chest, two black stripes on the shoulder pads and a large number on the back. Red pants with two black stripes. Red and black socks. Black shoes.
It's similar in design to a “throwback” uniform Michigan wore for last year's win against Notre Dame, but much bolder in its color palette: a sea of red topped with a black helmet.
“They're really cool,” Husker running back Rex Burkhead said. “I wish we could wear them more than one game.”
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And linebacker Will Compton: “When I saw the video, I was pretty jacked-up about it. You got that big ‘N' on the jersey, all red. I think it's awesome ... the black letters, the black numbers, the blackout helmet. Awesome.
“I think our fans are going to love it, I think recruits are going to love it and I think we're going to have a lot of fun with it.”
Pelini said the uniforms will be a “good recruiting tool.”
“It's just like everything else,” he said. “There's gonna be people who love it and people who hate it, especially here. You know, ‘Don't mess with the uniforms.' That's why I wanted no part in the decision. I didn't want to touch it ... it'll be an interesting reaction.”
Compton said he had anticipated an all-black uniform and still seemed Friday to be pining a bit for that look. Pelini noted that black is not one of Nebraska's traditional colors, but it's an “in vogue thing.”
In a press release, Adidas said that the black accent “honors the program's Blackshirts legacy.” The “techfit” uniforms, according to Adidas, are 30 percent lighter than standard uniforms.
The Huskers weren't the only Big Ten team this week talking uniforms. Michigan unveiled its alternate Adidas look for the Cowboys Classic vs. Alabama, while Under Armour redesigned Northwestern's uniform with fat stripes in the middle of the jersey.
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A reporter could find the Wildcats' new threads draped on a table inside McCormick Place. One initially had to head to Twitter to find a link to the 30-second video of Nebraska's uniform. And even then, most reporters hadn't seen the commercial before Pelini confirmed it during his two-hour roundtable interview.
“You guys have seen them now, right?” he said.
“No,” replied most reporters.
“Well, it's on the video,” Pelini replied.
“I didn't know if that was true or not,” remarked a TV reporter.
“Yeah, that's it,” Pelini said.
Nebraska later announced that the new jerseys will be available for sale in September.
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• Video: Nebraska football's alternate uniforms
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• Photos: Nebraska football alternate uniforms: