Earlier this month, West Virginia Illustrated posted pictures of the rumored all-gray uniform combination. The gray jersey, pants, and helmet will be available as an alternate uniform option for the Mountaineers in 2012.
Coach Dana Holgorsen, speaking to the Charleston Daily Mail, said the combination of gray uniforms with the barren gray walls surrounding Mountaineer field was "kind of like Boise State's blue uniforms and blue turf."
While Holgorsen may not have been entirely serious about home field advantage playing a role in the new gray alternates, he did elaborate on the changing landscape of recruiting. Specifically, how style and uniforms play a role in marketing the program to potential recruits.
"It's a recruiting thing," Holgorsen told the Daily Mail. "If you look across the country, we're behind on this. Everyone is going (Nike) Pro Combat. Everyone has three or four new uniforms. We're far from that. It's recruiting. Why is everyone doing it? Because the kids want it. It's television and marketing and the kids get excited about what they can see."
While many have argued the success in college football has been largely divided between the have's and the have-not's, the recruiting aspect is still as competitive as ever.
"Marshall is trying to be good," Holgorsen explained. "Syracuse, Pitt, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, they're all trying to be good, never mind the nine teams in the conference we're about to join [Big 12] that currently exist. It's one of the most competitive situations ever.
"How competitive is recruiting? We've got to offer 2,000 kids to get 20."
You may not like the trend of teams adding uniform combinations to their traditional look, but Holgorsen is absolutely correct as to why more schools are looking to stay fresh. With more television opportunities, social media and viral marketing campaigns; a college football program is no longer based on wins and losses in the eyes of recruits.
It is a different set of priorities for these brand-centric prospects, and programs - as always - are willing to adjust in order to get them on campus.
BELOW: West Virginia's all-gray uniform combination, via West Virginia Illustrated.
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