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Tennessee Vols Introduce Updated ‘Smokey Grey’ Uniforms

Phil here. Popping on again with some new College Football uni news.

It wasn’t just KU who introduced new alternates over the Labor Day weekend. The University of Tennessee Volunteers have also dropped an updated uniform that they’ll wear this weekend.

The Vols, who have worn a GFGS alternate (which they’ve dubbed “Smokey Grey” [SG] in reference to the Great Smoky Mountains that straddle the border of Tennessee and North Carolina) in various iterations before, have added a new SG alternate for the 2023 season. Last year, the team announced it would wear a new SG uniform every year from 2022 through 2025.

The 2023 edition “pays homage to Condredge Holloway, who played for the Vols from 1971-74. Holloway, nicknamed ‘The Artful Dodger’, made history, becoming the first Black player to start at quarterback for an SEC program.”

The team will debut the new uniforms this Saturday, against Austin Peay. The date is significant since it will mark 51 years to the day of Condredge Holloway’s first start at the University of Tennessee.

So … let’s take a look at the updated SG uniforms.

As you can see, the entire uniform is in SG coloring. The helmet is dark gray, with an orange center stripe with the classic “T” logo on the sides. Facemask is lighter gray.

The jersey has a large yoke rendered in Tennessee Orange, and is in Nike’s newest chassis template, with a white “T” on the neckline. Front numbers are orange, outlined in white, with TV numbers on the sleeve caps in the same style.

NOB is white and placed on the orange yoke.

Pants are SG, and feature two orange stripes.

Last year’s SG uniform was similar — but had several differences as you can see below.

The 2022 version had a wider helmet stripe, tone-on-tone yoke, TV numbers on the shoulders, numbers without outlines, and a wide single stripe down the pants leg that transitioned to a checkerboard pattern at the bottom. It’s difficult to see from the above photo, but the 2022 version actually had a darker gray yoke.

As noted above, the 2023 edition is an homage to Condredge Holloway (1971-74), who wore a white road uniform that also featured an orange yoke.

Those uniforms had similar attributes — the helmet stripe is the same width, orange numbers were outlined (in black), and the pants also featured two orange stripes.

And of course, what would a uniform unveiling be without a hype video (at least this one references the player/era it’s honoring) before going into rapid fire images of the new uniform?

As previously mentioned, the uniform will be worn this Saturday against Austin Peay. It’s possible it will be worn more than once, but so far the University has not said whether the team has any plans to do that.

Comments (12)

    I love the orange shoulders. It’s uniquely Tennessee. Would really like to see the Vols bring back the Holloway-era uniforms. While the checkerboard end zones are also a Tennessee thing, I like the two stripes on the pants much better than last year’s checkerboard-striped pants. I’m a fan of the face mask on this year’s SG helmet.

    The orange shoulders over the dark gray is not really the best look, to be sure, but as an homage, it’s fine. And the white outlines on the numbers give them the pop they sorely lacked on the previous SG jersey.

    Such a different time. Holloway went to three bowl games with Tennessee and was drafted in the 12th round as a DB. He had to come to Canada to continue playing QB. Played 14 years here, won two Grey Cups, in the CFL Hall of Fame. I don’t know how he would have fared in the NFL but its a shame he never got a chance.

    Shoulder yokes? No, please. Not in football, in hockey it sometimes works because of the long sleeves but not in football.

    In theory, I’m fine with greys, and I can live with shoulder yokes, but these are hideous. They look like they were designed by an AI program that wasn’t given enough directions.

    I think it might look better if the sleeve caps were the same color as the yoke (although that would detract from the ’70s homage), and if there was a little bit more of the white trim throughout.

    It appears the helmet has some sort of light gray to dark gray pattern. Almost like mountains in the distance

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