|Auburn will be using the three newest and potentially safest helmets on the market (image via Auburn Athletics)|
Last year, I covered Auburn's use of a new helmet, the Riddell SpeedFlex. The SpeedFlex is designed to help reduce risk and impact of concussions. It was pretty much the safest helmet on the market, but now there are two new helmets produced by two different companies.
The first helmet is the Vicis Zero1. WR Will Hastings was testing out the new helmet for the 2017 A-Day game, but has since gone back to the SpeedFlex he had previously worn. The Zero1 is a completely re-engineering of the traditional helmet set up, moving to a layer system of compression zones. As you can tell looking at Hastings wearing the helmet, the Zero1 is a lot larger than the competition. It almost looks bobblehead-like in how it sits on the player's head. With Hastings moving away from the Vicis helmet, it looks as though FB Spencer Nigh will be one of the few players to wear the helmet this season.
|Markaviest Bryant is one of the handful of Tigers|
wearing the Schutt F7 helmet this season.
(image via Julie Bennett, al.com)
It was previously mentioned that Auburn has tinkered with the helmets over the last few years. Back in 2015, the Tigers announced that the helmet stripes will be metallic finished, which saw a more drastic change for the orange striping than the blue. The navy facemask was also given a chrome-like, titanium finish. Auburn ultimately reverted back to the old plain navy masks the following season. This year, the metallic striping stays (to much disdain from many in the fanbase), and a new nose bumper will be used. Auburn will be jumping on the 3D Bumpers train, and adding a foam, 3D-printed "TIGERS" plate to the front rubber padding that connect the helmet shell to the facemask.
Many teams have sported this look over the last few years. Teams are now adding the 3D bumpers to the back pad. I've spoken with the manufacturer of Auburn's bumpers and was told that the Tigers will only be using the front bumpers this season. A normal, flat decal will stay on the back bumpers. The manufacturer said that this season will be a test run for Auburn, and there's a possibility the back bumpers could also be 3D printed in the future.
|New 3D printed letters will be added to the front of the|
Auburn Tigers' helmets this year (image via Auburn)
What do you think about these changes? Do you like the new helmet models? How about the use of 3D Bumpers this season? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!
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