TAMPA, FL. - USF Football is on the cutting edge of technology.
The Bulls have partnered with Schutt Sports to become the first football program at any level to be fitted for their UR1 helmet.
- UR1 Helmets are valued around $1,000
- USF is the first football program to be fitted for this helmet
- The helmet takes two-five minutes to make after testing
“What the UR1 does is it basically allows us to build a custom-configured helmet to an athlete’s head shape, preference of fit, etc.,” said Tucker Petre, who is the Schutt Sports National Director for NFL and NCAA Sales and Marketing.
“If you can make it so its unique to you, it’s just a better system for your satisfaction,” said Jay White, the Chief Technical Officer – Falcon Pursuit and main tester for USF’s new helmets.
It’s all geared around the individual – truly making each helmet one-of-a-kind.
“Twenty different locations, each pod coming in three different configurations – thin, medium, thick – A,B,C, and then two different thicknesses,” said White. “So if you have 20 locations, and six different possibilities, that makes for 3.16 quadrillion combinations. So that is why we use a computer.”
Thanks to some help from their computer the fitting process takes no time at all.
“We are able to pressure-map them and build the helmet within two to five minutes,” said Petre.
It takes a matter of seconds for each player to have their head tested once they place the UR1 prototype on this heads. From there the individual pods are placed into each helmet and the players begin the final stage of finding ultimate fit and comfort.
“Just feeling it, it fits me like a glove,” said USF offensive lineman Demetris Harris. “It’s the best helmet I have ever worn. It takes every piece of your head, your hair, face, jaw, everything and it fits perfect.”
“We can reconfigure to that same athlete as they change, hair style changes, as they get bigger, etc.,” said Petre.
One thing we all know about college football is it needs to be flashy. USF has worn different color helmets. They’ve worn this white one and they also worn this gold type of helmet. So is that a big deal for these new custom helmets. According to Schutt Sports it is very simple to switch over.
“Once we know their matrix, once we know which pod goes where, we can create 15-20 different helmets per that specific player,” said Petre.
The comfort level also extends to the equipment staff that will be responsible for making in-game changes to a player’s helmet using the new technology.
“If he wants to make a change or if one pod pops out, then you can click on the ipad system and make one tighter or looser. And that’s game day,” said White.
“That’s the key to it is its instant,” said USF Assistant AD of Equipment Operations Jeremy Lees. “Right then and there we can make adjustments if we need to with all the different aspects of the helmet itself.”
Comfort for players and comfort for the staff. The U-R-1 helmet is changing the game of football and its making its debut with USF.