STILLWATER — Wes Edwards has become really good at answering questions without actually answering.
Questions from the media. From his family. From Oklahoma State fans.
As OSU's equipment manager, Edwards is the key figure behind the Cowboys' 48 uniform combinations — and all the secrecy that comes with knowing the different looks the team will wear each week.
The Oklahoman's Gina Mizell tried to crack Edwards this week. They talked about the challenges his staff faces with having so many uniform options, how many new looks fans can expect to see this season and, yes, the possibility of adding an orange helmet.
How did the first season with so many different uniform combinations go for your staff?
“It was a little more work than we anticipated, I think, as far as making sure that everybody's helmet was the same as their other helmet, whether it was white, gray or black, or even their practice helmet. The facemask, the chin strap, just getting into all those details was a little more time-consuming than we anticipated. But in the end, it was worth it. Being out there and people all over the country talking about our uniforms, what a neat deal for us.”
The gray jerseys will have black numbers this season instead of orange. Will there be other changes?
“The only uniform we tweaked was that gray one. After putting it out there that first game, we realized that we needed to do something. We put the black numbers out there on the field once we got some samples from Nike, and we think people are going to notice a difference and hopefully the feedback's a little more positive than it was with last year's gray. Other than that, no really wholesale changes as far as the uniforms are concerned.”
Are there plans to add an orange helmet?
“We hope to. I'm not going to say it's going to happen this year or next year or whenever. But I think it's definitely something that our players deserve and our fans want to see, and I think we should have it out there. We'll do our best to see that we can get that done.”
I'm sure you saw the photo of a mysterious orange helmet floating around right before Bedlam.
“First of all, people have a lot of time on their hands with Photoshop. That's my first thought. Because believe me, if we had an orange helmet, we probably would have broken it out for Homecoming first. I've got 12 student managers, two full-time assistants, a truck driver and all kinds of people that are in and out of this equipment room, so it's real hard to keep a secret. But if we had orange helmets last year, we would have worn of them. It would have been a waste of money to get them and not wear them.”
What was your favorite look from last season?
“My favorite is the all white. I don't know why. I think it's a nice, clean look, and if we're not playing on grass, it stays really clean.”
Is it fair to say Brandon Weeden was the head of the uniform-picking crew last season?
“Yes, Brandon was absolutely the brain trust in that group. There were a few others that had input, but when it came down to it, it was usually the quarterback that decided that. And I think he did a pretty good job.”
Will you have any rules about repeating or not repeating any combinations from last season?
“We won't do the, ‘We wore this and we won, so we need to wear it again.' We won't do a lot of that. We'll try not to repeat some options, but some options look so good that you want to put it out there again. Hopefully, at least half of the stuff we wear is new, as far as something we haven't seen before. But we'll see what the guys decide.”
Is there a goal to eventually wear all 48 combinations? I'm sure there are some that don't look good.
“Exactly. That's what I've told a lot of people — 48 is 48, but it doesn't mean they all look good. So hopefully we don't see them all, but you never know. We'll let those players sit down and come up with some, and we'll help steer them. If we don't, as an equipment staff, like the look, then we'll probably try to steer them to something else. I don't know that we'll ever see all 48. And who knows? That would take four seasons to get through. Who knows what options might change between now and then, anyway?”