NORMAN — Oklahoma football players are fired up about the new uniforms they'll wear Saturday against Texas in the Cotton Bowl.
Nike unveiled new looks Monday for both the Sooners and Longhorns, whose uniforms will include a special gold Red River Rivalry patch on the jersey fronts above the numbers, which will be outlined in gold.
The gold was added as a nod to the Golden Hat Trophy, rewarded annually to the OU-Texas winner.
“Keeping up with the times, man,” said OU coach Bob Stoops, who in the past has resisted any major uniform changes. “You gotta do it. Kids like to see it. We'll probably have some other stuff here and there.”
During the Stoops era, Oklahoma has twice worn alternate uniforms. The Sooners beat North Texas in the 2003 season opener while wearing throwback uniforms that paid homage to the Bud Wilkinson years.
Then in November 2009, Oklahoma wore all-white Nike Pro Combat uniforms in a 41-13 loss at Texas Tech.
Stoops, though, said in September 2011, “we have one of those brands that does not change,” and that “I don't see it happening here,” when asked about other schools' experiments with alternate uniforms.
Oklahoma State and Oregon are among the schools that have made the biggest waves with their constantly evolving game day attire.
“A little change can go a long way, especially when it comes to recruiting,” said senior center Gabe Ikard. “I think just showing a slight change will show people that we're willing to adjust some things. For some recruits, jerseys are a big thing. Having those options, they like that.
The saying is, ‘Look good, feel good, play good.'”
Stoops said he met with Nike officials about a year ago to discuss the new Red River Rivalry uniforms, and added, “Who knows what else is coming?”
Asked if Oklahoma's new uniforms might be as radical as OSU and Oregon, “Probably not to that extreme.”
Still, Stoops has shown in recent months a willingness to evolve with the times on a couple different issues related to recruiting: Uniforms and social media.
Less than a year after saying he wouldn't ever make his Twitter account open to the public, he did just that.
“Obviously this is a step in the direction of change,” Ikard said of the new uniforms. “Even sprinkling a little gold on there, it's more than just the crimson and cream. As far as the end of this year or next year, if they wanna throw some more jersey options at us, I'm sure our players and recruits will be more than happy to oblige.
“When you wear the same thing for four-and-a-half years, you put a little gold in there, you get excited, I promise.”