What KU Jayhawks football players are saying about ‘Blackhawk’ unis they’ll don Friday

The Kansas Jayhawks unveiled new, all-black “Blackhawk” uniforms this week.

And the KU football players will wear them Friday night in a prime-time game against Illinois. It will be the first time Kansas has worn the all-black look.

“I’ve had them at every other school,” KU coach Lance Leipold said. “You know, players love them, and they want them, and everything else that happens in college athletics today is a lot about (being) driven by players. They’re the ones out there doing it and everything else.”

The helmets feature the 1941 Jayhawks logo, also known as the Warhawk, with red, white and blue stripes on the pants and the beloved circus font on the uniforms.

“I think we respected our school colors — we respected our past in the circus font and everything,” Leipold said. “I think we touched on it all.”

Not everyone who has seen the uniforms is a fan of the look. But that hasn’t fazed the head coach.

“Now, does that mean we please everybody?” he asked. “Probably not. But they never told me I would (please everyone) when I became a head coach.”

And KU players are certainly excited about the unis. Safety Kenny Logan led the rallying cry for creation of the Blackhawk look.

“It was a big surprise to us,” KU wide receiver Trevor Wilson said. “I think as a team and as a unit, we all like them pretty good.”

KU players hope to have a “Blackout” in the stands for Friday night’s game against Illinois. Fans are asked to wear black — black KU gear, if possible.

Though KU athletics says that the “Blackout” isn’t an official theme but rather fans are encouraged to attend and wear any type of KU gear, black or not. The first 5,000 students through the gates at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium will receive a black KU shirt.

Kansas offensive lineman Dominick Puni said he is excited to see the fans wearing black.

“When something is coordinated like that, I just love it because everyone’s on the same page and everyone invests time in making an effort,” he said. “I just think it’s cool when we run out and see all black. It’s going to be different, though, because you’re used to seeing blue and all that.”

According to Puni, most of the team didn’t know about the special uniforms until the program’s weekend announcement.

“They showed a hype video …” said Puni, noting that Leipold had lobbied hard for the team to be able to wear the uniforms against the Illini. “They did a good job. I’m glad they did it like that because I just like surprises ... It’s pretty cool.”

Puni said he is a little superstitious about uniforms, so there’s some extra motivation for KU to win Friday night.

“I don’t know if we are going to pull them out this season again,” he said. “You’ve got to set the tone. Good luck for next year… don’t make them bad luck.”