Through the years of wild college football alternate jerseys, Tennessee has played things conservatively for the most part. The orange and white creates a classic look that’s tough to top, and most purists hate the simple idea of even doing anything a little bit different.
However, the Volunteers have taken a few quick detours through the years. Before the ‘Smokey Grey’ uniforms in the mid 2010s, there were the long rumored black alternates that Lane Kiffin debuted in 2009. It was a one time thing for Tennessee, making an appearance against South Carolina during a Halloween game.
One current Tennessee coach wants it to happen again. Linebackers coach Brian Niedermeyer tweeted this morning to fellow assistant Tee Martin that Tennessee needs to bring back the black jerseys. He even had a mockup of the look, which shows Quavaris Crouch with a black jersey and black pants.
It’s probably not a coincidence that Brian Niedermeyer is the best recruiter on Tennessee’s staff. We’ve seen alternate jersey looks become a recruiting tool in certain places with Oregon leading the way several years ago. Tennessee’s ‘Smokey Grey’ look was a popular one for visiting recruits during the Butch Jones era. Georgia’s alternate black look is a popular one for their visitors.
Here’s Trevor Lawrence sporting the look during his visit a few years back.
When you remember Trevor Lawrence and Tee Higgins were both going to Tennessee pic.twitter.com/1rSEEdZoRn— Allan Bell (@AllanBell247) December 8, 2019
Tennessee has gone back to a more tradition feel since Jeremy Pruitt and Phillip Fulmer have been in place. The Vols returned to black cleats and ditched the greys for good to start the new era. With that in mind, it’s tough to imagine Fulmer and Pruitt getting on board with an all black alternate, but it would be interesting to see what Nike could come up with.
Should Tennessee bring back the black jerseys?