Adidas unveiled the new-look Tennessee uniform on its Twitter feed today. There are many minor tweaks, but the obvious change is an overall gray look. (adidas)
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KNOXVILLE -- Butch Jones dropped a subtle hint last month that Tennessee could break out some alternate football uniforms at some point in his first season as coach.
The visuals of the Volunteers' new look emerged on Thursday morning.
Tennessee is expected to unveil a gray alternate uniform later this afternoon, but Adidas, the university's official apparel partner, released a photo and video of the new uniforms late this morning.
The new look's base color is a "smokey" gray, which is on the university's official color pallet, which orange numerals and accents. The word "Vols" also appears above the number on the front of the jersey. The helmets are unchanged witha white background and an orange "Power T" logo.
Tennessee released a teaser video titled "8.15.13" on Wednesday night hinting at a uniform unveil. The Vols already are adding a small state of Tennessee logo above the players' names on the back of both home and away jerseys. All the new jersey combinations could be part of this afternoon's unveiling.
VolQuest.com first reported the jersey changes with a photo of the new look, and Adidas later revealed the gray uniform on Twitter account with an accompanying YouTube video.
The Vols are expected to wear the gray uniforms in one of four SEC home games this season. Tennessee hosts Georgia and South Carolina in October and Auburn and Vanderbilt in November.
"I would tell you this: in today's world of recruiting and the age that we live in, that's something that's kind of been important to our programs," Jones said at his preseason news conference. "I respect the great tradition we have here, and I think I've proven that. Everything is about our tradition, but we will continue to look and evaluate that, and if that's best for us, we will do that.
"There may be something coming, but everything that we do, and if we do it, we'll respect our traditions here at Tennessee."
Though programs like Oregon and Maryland have made multiple uniform options and different looks for every game a staple, the Vols have stuck to their usual look. In 2009, in a game against South Carolina on Halloween night in Knoxville, Tennessee wore black jerseys and orange pants at the players' request. The Vols beat the Gamecocks handily that night in what was perhaps the biggest win for then-coach Lane Kiffin.
Some of the Vols' committed recruits already have posted about the jersey changes on Twitter. Dillon Bates, a four-star linebacker prospect, actually thanked Jones on his page. A handful of current players will talk about the new look during today's media day at Neyland Stadium.
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...