The story behind KU’s new ‘Blackhawk’ football uniforms

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- The University of Kansas unveil new "Blackhawk" football uniforms ahead of...
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- The University of Kansas unveil new "Blackhawk" football uniforms ahead of the Sept. 8, 2023, game against Illinois.(University of Kansas Athletics)
Published: Sep. 4, 2023 at 5:18 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The Kansas Jayhawks will look different when they take the football field in week two.

Sunday, the KU Athletics Department showed off the new “Blackhawk” uniforms the Jayhawks will wear Friday night against Illinois in prime time.

The alternate look features the 1941 Jayhawk that is also known as the school’s “warhawk” design on a black helmet. Black pants are highlighted by red, white, and blue stripes, and the black jerseys feature a different font than other KU uniforms.

One final touch features a blue-and-white flag with a “K” just above the player’s name on the back of the jersey.

Coach Lance Leipold said the new look is thanks to an effort driven by the players themselves.

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“It probably started with Kenny Logan and went to others of course. He came in, ‘Hey coach we need black uniforms sometimes. I’ve had ‘em at every other school I was at,’ Leipold said during his weekly news conference Monday. “Players love them and they want them. It’s again, and everything else that happens in college athletics today is driven by players.”

Leipold said the new uniforms represent the past and the present while also appealing to the players.

“I think we’re able to do kinda hit it for all. Got the players in that type of look. I think we respected our school colors. We respected our past in the circus font, and everything. I think we touched on it all. Now, does that mean we please everybody? Probably not.”

Fans can get their hands on the new “Blackhawk” merchandise through the university. It is also on sale at retailers such as Kansas Sampler and Rally House locations across Lawrence and the Kansas City metro.

While the video announcing the new uniforms featured KU quarterback Jalon Daniels, Leipold hasn’t said if he will play Friday night after sitting out the opening game against Missouri State.

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Leipold did say Daniels was available against the Bears if the Jayhawks needed him, but officially he is still day-to-day, according to the coach.

Kick off for the Illinois game is at 6:37 p.m. on Sept. 8. at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. The game will also be on ESPN2.