It’s out with the old, in with the new — or rather in with the traditional old again — for Tennessee football moving forward under Jeremy Pruitt. Tennessee will stop wearing its “smokey grey” jerseys during football games and stick to traditional orange and white, all orange and all white combinations, sources close to the program told FOX Sports Knoxville. The Vols will also only wear black cleats.
The smokey grey jerseys were introduced in the Butch Jones era, especially to be worn in key home games — Tennessee has donned the grey in its past three home matchups against Georgia, once against Vanderbilt (2013), once against Florida (2016) and in the 2016 Music City Bowl against Nebraska. The Vols were 3-3 in the jerseys.
The move is a more traditional one for Tennessee, but it has some unsurprising elements. Pruitt’s last two stops, Georgia and Alabama, both have a simple look. Both wear primarily black cleats and rarely use anything other than traditional uniform combinations and colors.
Now, Tennessee might return to its own simple roots. The Vols will probably even look like something form former coach and current athletic director Phillip Fulmer’s tenure.
Tennessee’s move back to black cleats and no grey could simply be the beginning of a message each of the Vols’ former three coaches tried to send: “We’re bringing Tennessee back to the days of the elite.” If nothing else, it could hit home with former Vols.
Since Fulmer stepped down in 2008, the Vols experimented with a bit of uniform creativity. They wore black jerseys on Halloween in 2009 under Lane Kiffin, then primarily moved to white cleats with orange trims under Adidas and then Nike.
Going forward, Pruitt’s pick of combinations will be an interesting one to watch. The Vols rarely appeared in anything other than white on white road uniforms under Jones, but some fans want to see more orange pants under the white jerseys in away games.
Similarly, we’ll wait and see how Pruitt feels about Tennessee’s “Creamsicle” option of orange on orange home jerseys. The last Tennessee appearance in orange on orange was against Kentucky in 2016.