Are the Fighting Illini Looking at New Uniforms?

New Illinois uniforms?

Rumors on the internet are like grains of sand on a beach, but when they have to do with sports uniforms, we track them down. There has been substantial buzz about the Illinois football team potentially having new uniforms in 2012 or possibly the year after.

One anonymous report has new coach Tim Beckman commissioning a design of Nike to shop to higher-ups within his school for approval. These uniforms have been described, and a photoshopper put together some mockups of how they might look:

potential new unis for the  Illinois Fighting Illini

White version of the potential new unis for the Illinois Fighting Illini

While obviously photoshop mockups, these may in fact be similar to a redesign Illinois is looking into. Several of the design elements look consistent with the Illini style guide.

Also floating out on an Illini recruit’s Facebook page were photos of a new set of helmet designs:

These look like genuine photos from the Illini equipment room. The design checks out, as the Illinois script is lifted directly from the school’s basketball jerseys.

Note the style of the Illinois arch, outline, etc on the jerseys. Looks like the helmets shown.

In a twitter post after a radio interview with head coach Tim Beckman, Jeremy Werner confirms that the blue helmet is going to appear this year, but that the coach denies new uniforms are coming in 2012 as a while.

According to Illinois SID Derek Neal, the helmets picture is one being distributed to recruits to get them excited about potential new looks. “While our coaches have been displaying those for recruits, those are just options we’ve been exploring for new helmets,” Neal said. “No decisions have been made yet on helmet, uniform changes, or if there will even be a change.”

I’d bet these mockups, or an original of a similar style are on a Nike designer’s desk, and they may appear, in some version next year. Stay tuned and keep up with these mocks and see how similar the end result of new uniforms ends up being.

Would this be an upgrade? Do you think this is a legit redesign, being considered by the school, or more ramblings of an admittedly talented photoshop expert working alone? Or do these resemble a design being asked for by the Illini?

EDIT: (5/23/2012) As reader “Eric” pointed out, the uniform design sheets are on the table. Since “enhance” only works in the movies, I’ve enlarged the image to see if there are any hints or details available.

Illinois illini new uniforms

Do these sheets show new uniforms, or combinations of existing?

These sheets definitely show navy helmets and arguably white ones. The top sheet look like it has far more interesting designs, perhaps with retro jerseys or more ambitious designs.

Via There are some photos of a white helmet that also feature the diamond pattern.

Illinois football new white helmet

Requests for comment to Illinois AD Mike Thomas have not yet been answered.

EDIT: (5/24/2012) Thanks again to our loyal readers, we have a digital version of the lower of the two design sheets pictured on the table.

Illinois Illini new uniforms spec sheet

Illinois possible combination spec design

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8 Responses to Are the Fighting Illini Looking at New Uniforms?

  1. Eric says:

    If you look at the table there are design sheets

  2. Zero says:

    I usually can’t stand Nike football uniforms, but these are really good.

  3. ingmar66 says:

    I like them. Note how the zigzag pattern is also lifted from the top of the 06-07 basketball shorts (made by Nike as well). Good, clean, crisp look.

  4. Marbles says:

    Bring back the chief! Best logo in all of sport. Without it the illini looks like a high school team.

  5. Aaron says:

    This set looks good. Yeah, I’d say bring back the chief logo, but I don’t see it happening yet. Perhaps with the helmets, the orange helmets could go with the white jerseys and the white helmets with the orange. Just a thought!

  6. Illini1 says:

    Those photoshop mock ups were done by Chris Creamer message board poster wILL-INI, who worked as a designer for the Illinois athletic department. He originally did this for fun, but everyone in the athletic department really liked it. I think this will be their uniforms probably in 2013. I think they got the process started too late to have them for this season.

  7. drew says:

    Here is a large version of the bottom sheet of paper…

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