BY STEVE NITZ - sports@daily-chronicle.com

NIU players give positive reviews for new uniforms

CHICAGO – Jerry Kill considers himself old school.

And Northern Illinois' football coach is no different when it comes to his team's uniforms.

"I'm kind of like (Penn State coach) Joe Paterno. I'd just keep them as plain as day," Kill said Wednesday during NIU's media day at Ditka's restaurant.

Yet, he still has no problem with the Huskies' new, modern look, which was revealed earlier this month.

"I think the kids like them, that's all that matters," Kill said. "The bottom line is, these kids, if they don't look good, they're not going to play good. If they don't feel good about their equipment they're not going to play well. You've got to feel good to play good. I think we all understand that."

So far, the Huskies' new digs have gotten nothing but positive reviews from the current roster.

"I love them. I think we needed some new flavor, some new style in there," said running back Chad Spann, who gave fans a sneak peak of the uniforms on Twitter. "They're just more modern. The other ones were kind of plain."

The Huskies again will be sporting a red home uniform, while the road jersey is the traditional white. The home uniform features white numbers outlined with black, with "HUSKIES" written above the number. The road jerseys look the same, with red numbers instead of white.

Both jerseys have black piping down the sides, while the home jersey has a black stripe leading from the piping to the neck on both the front and back. The road jersey has the same stripe, but it's red. The helmet design is the same, but will have sort of a red sparkle look.

One part of the uniform that isn't changing is the pants, as the team will wear the same ones it wore with the previous design.

"Just like coach said, you feel good, you play good," linebacker Alex Kube said. "I feel like we're all going to feel like we look good. It's going to look real good out there, I'll tell you that. I've got to thank everybody who was involved with that. For my last year to be able to put on a new uniform, it's awesome.

"It's a lot more modern. The ones before we're a little more old school, a little more plain. I really just like the change, you always like a little bit of change."

One popular aspect of the uniforms is the way they fit. The jerseys are tighter and more form fitting, making them more comfortable on the field.

"They fit way better," Kube said "At the bottom they get really tight."

One thing that's missing from the new design is last names on the back of the jerseys, something that was absent from the previous uniforms, as well.

It's not something that bothers Spann, who points out that some of the more traditional schools don't have names on their uniforms.

"It's not a big deal to me," Spann said. "Some of the great schools never had names – Notre Dame, USC. It's not a real big deal to me."

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