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Check out the Jayhawks' reactions to the team's new black uniforms

From superheroes to swag and everything in between

4 min read
Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels models KU's Blackhawk uniforms that they'll wear on Friday night during their Week 2 clash with Illinois at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. [Kansas Athletics photo]

Kansas offensive lineman Dominick Puni suspects that the four Jayhawks who went to Big 12 media days in Dallas in mid-July have known about it since then.

But if they did, no one else was aware.

Until Sunday, that is.

That’s when KU safety Kenny Logan Jr. came into the team meeting decked out from head to toe in KU’s new black uniforms.

“Kenny came in dressed in all black and everyone just started going crazy,” Puni told R1S1 Sports. “I think they knew, but if they did, they did a good job hiding it. They didn’t tell nobody.”

The Jayhawks will wear the “Blackhawk” themed uniforms on Friday night during their Week 2 clash with Illinois at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. And while the KU fan base has been in a tizzy about them — good and bad — ever since the news broke, the Jayhawks themselves appear to be even more excited about the all-black look.

“I’m in love with them,” senior defensive end Hayden Hatcher said Tuesday. “Anyone who knows me, in my closet I’m wearing black on black. My sister and my mom are always telling me it’s not the best fashion choice, but they’re probably going to think the uniforms look good, too.”

According to some, the reason behind all of the love for the Blackhawk look dates back to childhood. Hatcher said Spiderman 3 is one of his favorite movies, in large part because of the black spider suit that plays a prominent role in the film.

“We all grew up wanting to be Batman, I think,” the Council Bluffs, Iowa, native said Tuesday. “If you put that (black uniform) on, you kind of feel like the anti-hero.”

Other Jayhawks said the black uniforms just bring an entirely new mindset into play.

“Look good, play good,” Puni told R1S1 Sports. “I think that’s a true thing. If the whole team’s swagged out, it just makes you feel good. And if you feel good you play better.”

Fresh off of a 48-17 win in the opener during which the offensive line paved the way for four different KU running backs to score touchdowns, it’s a safe bet that Puni will be feeling good this Friday night. And the black uniforms will be a huge part of the reason for that.

“I have never worn all black,” he said. “That’s my favorite part. So, black tape, black gloves, I’m going all out.”

Added KU cornerback Kwinton Lassiter: “New jerseys get everyone excited.”

These uniforms are black from head to toe and feature a black helmet with the 1941 Jayhawk on it. That Jayhawk also appears on the sleeves. The all-black pants have a red, white and blue stripe down the side and KU's gameday flag is featured above the names on the backs.

A close-up look at the back of KU's Blackhawk uniforms that they'll wear on Friday night during their Week 2 clash with Illinois at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. [Kansas Athletics photo]

KU wideout Trevor Wilson said he was a fan of the look, as well, and he’s hoping that the KU crowd will join in on the fun.

Last week’s game drew a crowd of just over 41,000 — the largest opening-night crowd since 2014. Whether the number grows closer to a sellout this week or not, Wilson wants to see continuity from the field to the stands.

“I’m pumped to see the fans blacked out, too,” he said.

To that end, KU has announced that the first 5,000 students through the gates on Friday night will receive a black KU football T-Shirt.

KU coach Lance Leipold, who, coincidentally was wearing a black hat and black T-Shirt during his regular meeting with the media on Monday, said the idea for the alternate uniform started with the players and player-input was high from that moment on.

“I can’t remember the exact month, it probably started with Kenny Logan and went to others,” Leipold said. “Something about, ‘Hey, coach, we need black uniforms.’ I’ve had them at every other school. The players love ’em. And they want ’em.”

That last part, Leipold said is key.

“A lot of everything that happens in college athletics is driven by players,” he added. “They’re the ones out there doing it and I think we were able to kind of hit it for all. We got the players and that look. I think we respected our school colors, we respected our past in the circus font. Everything. I think we touched on it all.”

Hatcher called them “sleek” and both he and Puni said they thought the Jayhawks will look sharp when they take the field wearing them on Friday night.

That’s about as far as Leipold let his mind go with the uniforms, acknowledging for the record that he does in fact like the way these particular duds look.

“I think it’ll be a nice touch,” he said. “But it’s gonna be how we play in ’em that’s gonna matter the most on Friday.”

Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

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