The new era of Kentucky football is here and it's not just about being off probation or the first time Jared Lorenzen hasn’t suited up in four years.
The program unveiled new uniforms on Friday, the first time a complete redesign has been done since Hal Mumme's first season in the Bluegrass. The new duds are much more modern and should give the Cats a distinct look when they hit the field this fall.
The biggest change is the program decided to have "Kentucky" stitched across the chest, starting a new wave of having the school name across the front of the jersey.
The home uniforms will feature blue jerseys and blue pants, while the away look is all white. The new design has silver piping on the sleeves and opposite color blocks on each side. The helmets were not changed from a year ago.
"We are coming off probation, it's our second year and we didn't have time to implement change last year," UK coach Rich Brooks said. "We thought a new look was appropriate and this is what we came up with.
"The thing that was very encouraging was when (equipment manager) Tom Kalinowski got the samples in, how excited the players were about the changes in the style. The majority of them are excited."
Senior Shane Boyd and redshirt freshman John Logan modeled the new look, while sophomore Keenan Burton donned the throwback uniform UK will wear for its game with Ohio on Oct. 2. All three said having "Kentucky" across the chest is a source of pride for the team.
"It means something to have 'Kentucky' across your chest and heart," Boyd said. "When people see that, they know who you are."
Burton said it also gives the team added motivation.
"The 'Kentucky' represents more than just playing, you've got a whole state on your chest," Burton said. "I'm just excited."
Brooks said as nice as the new uniforms are, it won't make a difference on the scoreboard but it could help the team's attitude.
"It can create a little different attitude," Brooks said. "But it's not going to make a difference in the fourth quarter. That's what they are working for this summer. That's what really makes a difference. But this will give them a push into the season.
"This is the new era of Kentucky football."