STILLWATER — Through the years, Oklahoma State football has never been linked to one look, one classic uniform that unmistakably exclaimed: “Cowboys.”
Now, perhaps, the Pokes could become known for lots of looks.
Enhancing its relationship with Nike, OSU leaps into a bold new era with the unveiling of its new uniforms, Nike Pro Combat, featuring an edgier look and color schemes of orange, black, white and gray that create 48 possible combinations.
Why such ambitious change? OSU athletic director Mike Holder said it's all about the kids.
“Ultimately, it just came down to the players,” Holder said. “If you're in education, it's got to be about the students. If you're a coach or in athletics, it's got to be about the student-athletes. And you can never lose sight of that.
“It's a game and it should be fun. And anything to make it more fun and exciting for the players, I view that as a positive.”
The kids are more than alright with the new Nike threads.
Brandon Weeden and Brodrick Brown both raved about the uniforms and said their teammates are excitedly on board, too.
“It'll be hard to please everybody; not everyone will like them,” Weeden said. “But the guys in the locker room are going to wear them every Saturday. We like them and we're proud of them.”
Unchained to any historic style, OSU and Nike started engaging Cowboys players as much as two years ago, seeking input on styles and colors.
“In this whole process of exploring the possibility of doing something different with our uniforms,” Holder said, “once Nike started talking to the players, it was something they were excited about and wanted to be a part of.
“That's what took it from the discussion stage to trying to implement a plan and come up with new designs.”
The Nike way has worked masterfully for Oregon, which is known as much for its varied and wild uniform combinations as its surge among the nation's elite football programs.
The kids have noticed, too. And not just current players, but potential players.
“It helps them with recruiting,” Weeden said. “Kids like that stuff and they want to go to Oregon because of all the varieties they have.
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BY THE NUMBERS 48: Different uniform combinations the Cowboys can use. 28: Number of boxes it took to deliver just the pants for the Cowboys uniforms. 12: Number of part-time OSU employees now charged with keeping up with all the uniforms. 4: Different colors of pants, jerseys in OSU's wardrobe 3: Different colors of helmets in OSU's wardrobe 1: Person who normally decides what uniform the Cowboys wear — OSU coach Mike Gundy