May 26, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State football team will sport a new fashion look for the upcoming 2007 season. The new-look uniforms, manufactured by Nike, are made of a new more durable lightweight Cordura stretch material that is form-fitting for performance enhancement. The new material replaces the heavier knits of the past.
Nike product line manager Alec Mattison outlines the main technical details of the new uniform:
innovative fit - The new jersey has an updated design and new performance fabrics, producing a tight shrink-wrapped fit that minimizes grab points for opponents to hang onto.
weight reduction - Both the jersey and pant are made of lighter weight material.
increased ventilation - A light-weight mesh has been added in areas that have traditionally been covered by non-breathable fabrics, like the upper back neck and under arms where heat can escape.
improved moisture management - Both the jersey and pant are produced with Nike's most technical uniform fabrics that hold far less moisture, thus carrying less weight. This is a very significant feature, especially in the game pants.
While the fabrics utilized will be different, the Spartan uniform will visually maintain its traditional look. The Spartans will wear the traditional green jerseys at home games along with white pants, while the team will don all white (jerseys and pants) on the road. The new-look home and road jerseys still feature "MICHIGAN STATE" across the chest, but the font has been changed to match previous Spartan teams. Tackle twill numbers appear on the front, back and sleeves. A name plate, featuring tackle twill letters, has been added to the upper back, below a Spartan helmet logo patch. The pants are solid white with a Spartan helmet logo patch on the front left hip.
Minor changes also have been made on the headgear. The Spartan helmet logo remains affixed to each side of the headgear. A single white stripe has been added down the center of the helmet. In addition, 1 1/2-inch jersey numbers have been added to the back of the headgear. Double-digit numbers are divided by the center stripe.
"This is a clean, classic uniform design," MSU athletic equipment coordinator Bob Knickerbocker said. "The new uniform really embraces Michigan State's football heritage. Several old elements have been added to the uniform and those are things that our ex-players and alumni can relate to. They can say, `hey, that's how the jersey and helmet looked when I played there or that's how the uniforms looked when I went to school there.'"
"These are pretty good-looking uniforms," Thornhill said. "There are some slight design changes, but not too many. The uniform went back to a more traditional look. This is a good fit for Michigan State, and hopefully, we can keep these (uniforms) around for awhile."
For his senior season, Thornhill has changed his jersey number from 43 to 41 as a tribute to his late father Charlie, who earned three letters (1964-66) while playing for legendary Spartan head coach Duffy Daugherty. Charlie, perhaps better known by his nickname "Mad Dog," passed away last December at the age of 62.
"I wanted to do something to honor him because he meant so much to me," Thornhill said. "I want to wear his jersey number for my family, especially my mom (Laureen).
"I'm sure dad will be looking down this fall, watching every game. I can't think of a better way to thank him for everything that he did for me, than by closing out my career with a bang."
"The new uniforms still have the Michigan State look and feel, but there are a couple of subtle changes," Hoyer said. "These uniforms are light, and the fit is nice and tight. It took me 15 minutes to get into full uniform. With the snug fit, it will be difficult for defenders to grab you from behind and pull you down. As a quarterback, I also like the cut around the neck because it allows for a greater range of motion for my head as I survey the field.
"I'm sure the fans and announcers will appreciate seeing the players' names on the back of the jerseys."
Replicas for the Spartans' home (green) and road (white) jerseys will be available for retail in early June.
Michigan State will debut its new-look football uniforms for the 2007 season and home opener, Sept. 1 against UAB.