Equipped: Helmets

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina's equipment staff spent time early this week decaling helmets and issuing workout attire for the football program. InsideCarolina.com also received a sneak peek at UNC's white helmet prototype that will be worn this season.

The Tar Heels have four options when it comes to helmets -- Riddell's Revolution, Speed and 360, as well as Schutt's XP. Riddell is the predominant choice of the 119 players on the current roster, as only a half dozen or so players wear the Schutt helmet. After sending in size orders, the equipment staff receives blank Carolina blue helmets and then must go about the task of decaling each one.

The equipment staff places eight decals on each helmet, including the interlocking NC on both sides, the white and navy blue stripes down the middle and the American flag, ACC logo and player's number on the back.

Here's a prototype for the white helmet that North Carolina will wear at least once in 2012. The finished product will include standard width stripes down the middle (one-inch between two 1/2-inch) and there's a possibility that the face mask will be navy blue instead of white. The equipment staff toys around with helmet and uniform options throughout the year. There are roughly 10 spec helmets on a locker shelf, including a pair of black helmets.

Players have approximately 75 face mask options to choose between for their helmets.

Each player is assigned a small cubby in the equipment room where the staff stores a variety of clothing and uniform options. The players utilize an issue window to get the attire they need for that given day. If you're looking close to sneak a peek at possible new uniforms, don't waste your time. UNC has to place its uniform order with Nike in November, which was a full month before Larry Fedora was hired in 2011.

Nike delivered a wide range of apparel this summer, ranging from exercise outfits and uniforms for the players to practice and game day clothes for the coaches and staff. That includes special items such as cold weather and rain gear. Over the years sizes have ranged from extra small for female students to the 4XL gear that certain linemen require. The equipment staff began sorting the clothing items on Monday.

The student managers piece together each player's laundry loop. Each strap includes socks, shorts, girdle and both tight and loose Dri-Fit shirts. The players have more exercise options with the new coaching staff. Former strength and conditioning coach Tom Myslinski preferred a a standard look with only two color options. New S&C coach Lou Hernandez's only requirement is that exercise clothing be issued by North Carolina.

A completed laundry loop. After use, the players will load their items back on the strap to be laundered.

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