The Oklahoma football program announced on Wednesday it will wear new anthracite alternate uniforms during Saturday’s game against Kansas (12 p.. on ESPN2) in honor of former running back Prentice Gautt, the Sooners’ first African-American scholarship player.
The uniforms were designed by a group of student-athletes – including former football players Patrick Fields, Jeremiah Hall, Creed Humphrey, Caleb Kelly and Chanse Sylvie – to “emphasize the importance of togetherness and building relationships to better society.”
The anthracite jersey features a reflective vinyl crimson “Oklahoma” wordmark and crimson numbers outlined in white, while the sleeves include crimson Northwestern stripes with a silhouette of the state in the center. The word “Together” is sewn into the back of the crimson collar, while the nameplate displays the word “Unity” rather than the players’ names.
The aforementioned striping pattern can be seen down the sides of the anthracite pants and center of the matte anthracite helmet, although the latter has two white stripes between the crimson, whereas the stripes on the sleeves and pants are a single color.
The helmet is then complete with an interlocking “OU” logo in crimson and outlined in white on both sides and an anthracite facemask.
“We wanted to make a statement that was way broader, something that stood out more than a practice jersey,” said Kelly, who played linebacker for the Sooners from 2016-21 and is now the director for the football team’s SOUL Mission program. “When we’re all together wear that ‘Sooners,’ we’re all one. We wanted to make sure we exemplified that unity in our uniform.”
Of course, this marks the first time in Oklahoma history that the football program will wear anthracite, though it’s become a staple for the men’s and women’s basketball and softball teams in recent years. The Sooners noted in their press release how other programs will receive “Unity” uniforms this season, as well.
In addition to the uniforms, Oklahoma will honor Gautt – who was a two-time All-Big Eight selection and an Academic All-American during his career from 1957-59 before playing eight seasons professionally for the Cleveland Browns and St. Louis Cardinals – by recognizing his widow and son during a timeout in the first half of Saturday’s game.
“He stood for unity, he stood for doing things the right way,” Kelly said. “He stood for making sure that you handled academics and football. He was one of the founding fathers who made Oklahoma football what it is and gave all the African-American players who have come through OU that opportunity.”
Photos courtesy of @OU_Football on Twitter.