Last fall, the Florida Gators wore ‘swamp green’ alternate uniforms. They unique look drew the ire of many fans. During, head coach Dan Mullen’s booster meeting in Tampa on Tuesday, the controversial uniforms were brought up.
Mullen was quick to point out that while adults may not have liked the look, the teenage recruits the Gators are chasing certainly like the green uniform.
“The favorite uniform of every kid we recruited was the green uniform, and they are the ones that have to win games for us,” Mullen said.
In fact, Mullen even broke a bit of uniform news for the Gators during his speech.
“Yeah, whatever they want to wear,” Mullen said of his players. “It is what it is to get those guys. I mean, we’ll be wearing a black jersey combination at some point. We’ll be doing some cool stuff for the guys, because that’s what they like to do. That’s what it’s about.
“When you sit there and say, ‘Hey coach, how’s recruiting going?’ Well, I’m recruiting 17, 16, 17 year olds, and we cater to what they think is really cool…Then the white helmets. The kids really like the white helmet. They think that’s really cool.”
The new head coach went on to explain how if breaking away from the traditional uniforms helps his current players or land recruits, than he’s for it.
“We’re going to have fun with that with the guys, because I’m telling you what is important is the guys covering the kickoff. If the guys on the field played unbelievably hard and made play, right? What if the Pouncey brothers or Tebow and Percy said, ‘I’m not going there because they don’t wear cool uniforms.’ We still set, you don’t want to change those uniforms ever? Like, ‘I don’t want to go to that school?’”
No fear Florida faithful, the Gators’ traditional uniform combination will still be around, especially for the first game of the 2018 season.
“I will say this for me, I can guarantee you game one will be white pants, blue jerseys, orange helmet. That’s my first game running out of the tunnel, and I’m going to take a picture of me, you’re going to take a picture of me with the Gators as the Gators in my first game.”
Mullen also admitted to the fan questioning those ‘swamp green’ jerseys, that they didn’t fit his tastes either.
“I’m with you on the green thing though. I saw that and was like, ‘What is that? That’s awful.’ But again, I don’t have to cover the kickoff. I just stand on the sidelines and watch guys cover the kickoff. If that makes them run faster, I’m all in.”
Florida has a very unique color way, only shared by Boise State, Illinois, Auburn, Virginia and the fictional Blue Mountain State. Last year they introduced these gator uniforms.
— Alex Scarborough (@AlexS_ESPN) October 10, 2017
And they were not received well on the internet at all.
What Dan Mullen clearly doesn’t realize is that Florida is sunny and clear majority of football season down south. As labor day rolls around, the Swamp will be hot, humid and full of black uniform-clad players, coaches and fans. Just imagine that situation. If I was an SEC East team with an early season game with the Gators, I would be ecstatic.
But what about tradition? I know the football program is trying to find reinvent itself down in Gainsville, but the Blue and Orange is tradition. If there was one conference in the NCAA to take tradition seriously, its the SEC.
Lets just hope that when the uniforms are released this summer, they are better than the gator unis from last year. Maybe I’ll re-evaluate my view on this. Till then, Florida will keep doing Florida things.