Following the best recruiting class in years for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, the next logical accomplishment for the program was revamping the look of the team in 2018.
Now in year two of the P.J. Fleck era, the Gophers will be making more additions to the wardrobe.
The uniforms were presented to the team by Gophers alumni Maxx Williams, MarQueis Grey and Dom Barber. The H.Y.P.R.R. mantra ties back to when Fleck joined the Gophers as one of the changes to the culture he envisioned for the program. H.Y.P.R.R. being specific to the way his team responds to situations.
— Minnesota Football (@GopherFootball) February 20, 2018
Here are the grades for every aspect of the new Gophers uniforms.
Uniform Names/Meanings – A
Each of the three new uniform additions carries their own name to individualize and add meaning to each new look.
The smooth grey with an accompanying gold cap is called Nekton Mentality. Nekton is a Greek word that means ‘aquatic animal’ and refers specifically to bigger aquatic animals.
The white jersey with a matching helmet is called Energy. It gives a fresh, clean look to the white uniforms they showcased last season against Oregon State.
While there is no proof of this, Fleck works closely with the school to create the outfits for the program, meaning this could be a play on not only the energy he wants his player to attack the game with but also the well-documented passion of his.
The final addition is ROW, the old school maroon and gold jersey and helmet. The ROW jersey is a natural choice to hearken back to the school’s history, while also including the program mentality of coach Fleck.
While naming jersey collections is already enough for a top grade, the fact that each name carries a specific meaning for the program secures a perfect grade.
Helmet Design – B
The best part of all the helmets is that they are compatible with multiple jerseys. In the video alone, the gold cap looks great on the maroon ROW jersey, while the ROW helmet pairs well with the maroon numbers on the Energy jersey.
The metallic gold stands out nicely for some flash against the relatively simple and clean jersey collection. The maroon M on the outside of the Nekton helmet is also a nice touch to separate from the Baylor and Notre Dame helmets.
The all-white look of the Energy helmet completes the popular all-white design that every school seems to possess. The detractor here is that the paddle at the top of the helmet is the same as that on top of the ROW helmet.
Finally, the ROW helmet is the finishing touch on a throwback design that tethers the uniform lineup back to its roots.
Each helmet also includes the Ski-U-Mah chant that has been a staple of the program and fan base. They also all include a compass just above the Ski-U-Mah with the jersey number. This represents the responsibility of leadership that is placed on every player on the team.
Complete Aesthetic – A
Plenty of programs get caught up in adding far too much design and detail to their jerseys when they debut a new wardrobe for the football team. Oklahoma State added a billion pictures to their collars that nobody sees, Oregon never wears the same jersey twice and North Texas put feathers everywhere.
Minnesota does a great job staying simple and clean with the brand new set of designs. They offer complexity with the meaning attached to each new outfit but keep the actual jersey from looking cluttered.
The white socks and cleats keep from pulling the eye away from the show on the pads while everything from the helmets to the pants can be mixed and matched to add endless new combinations.
The new uniforms grab the attention without behaving overly flashy, all the while conveying a simple message: be prepared for a Fleck lead Gophers team that does not act, play or look like they have before.
These are not your dad’s Gophers.
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