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HBCU Football

The 5 best HBCU football uniforms

Did the uniforms help these teams win this season? You be the judge

The style and grace of student dress at historically black colleges and universities is a defining part of their culture. Even athletes take particular pride in donning a uniform that sartorially embodies their pride in their institution. It is just another fashionable way to represent.

This season, HBCU football has been more competitive on that front than ever. Rivalry games — such as Howard (aka “The Real HU”) vs. Hampton, Grambling vs. Southern, North Carolina Central vs. North Carolina A&T and Bethune-Cookman vs. Florida A&M — sparked a new competitive thought:

Which HBCU team has the baddest football uniform in the land? Check out the The Undefeated’s Live 5:


(Sponsored by Adidas)

Photo by Adidas

The Tennessee State Tigers, an NCAA Division I football program, made early headlines this year after gaining their first FBS victory in program history by defeating the Georgia State Panthers 17-10 at the beginning of the season. With their reflex blue-and-white home uniforms, TSU’s colors make them unique among other HBCUs. Sponsored by Adidas, the uniform gives the Tigers a signature look. With the embroidered white with red trim on the numbers, the shiny blue helmets with the school’s initials on both sides as well as the middle red-and-white stripe at the top of the helmet, the school’s colors are as well personified on the uniform as they are inside it.


(Sponsored by Nike)

Photo by Nike

The undefeated North Carolina A&T Aggies, an NCAA Division I football program, have been a dominating force this year and will be representing the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) in the 2017 Celebration Bowl. From top to bottom, their signature blue-and-gold home uniforms define how the Aggies players look. Thanks to a recent apparel deal with Nike and input from the coaches and equipment managers, the Aggies have been looking better than ever. From the blue helmet with the Aggies school logo on both sides to the blue pants with gold bars on the sides, the Aggies are draped from head to toe in style.


(Sponsored by Under Armour)

Photo by Under Armour

With a new head football coach, a new apparel deal with Under Armour and a new mindset during this year’s football season, the Howard Bison showed great improvement in their game and their uniforms. As Under Armour’s first HBCU partnership, it’s been two years since the NCAA Division I football program unveiled its new athletic logo, but the style is still hot. There are not too many HBCU teams with a different look beyond their school’s initials, and with the solid and refined helmets next to the navy blue and white uniforms, the Bison have never looked better.


(Sponsored by Russell Athletics)

Photo by Russell Athletics

The Columbia Blue and Gold home uniforms of the Southern University Jaguars, an NCAA Division I football program, make the team truly stand out. With white helmets to support its all heavy Columbia Blue with Gold supportive trim, when you see Southern on the field, you know it’s Southern on the field. With the Jaguars on a seven-game winning streak and sitting at second place in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) West Division, one may be forgiven for thinking these uniforms may have played in a part in their victories.


(Sponsored by Russell Athletics)

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

While many other HBCUs could be in our Live 5, the Grambling State Tigers have defined themselves by having the most swagged-out signature football uniforms. The simple but precise black and gold of the Tigers make this team the HBCU football team with the baddest uniforms in the land. There’s no question that the sleek black and supportive gold plus that trademark G (for “G-Men,” as they call themselves) on the helmets make the Tigers the true embodiment of their name and swagger. This NCAA Division I football program is also the lead contender in the SWAC and is the reigning 2016 Celebration Bowl champion, so there’s no question that the Tigers deserve our top spot in The Undefeated’s Live 5.

Did we get it wrong in the ranking? Who do you think has the baddest HBCU football uniform in the land? Let us know on social media and in “You Got 99 Words.”



(Sponsored by Russell Athletics)

Photo by Russell Athletics


(Sponsored by Russell Athletics)

Photo by Russell Athletics

Paul Holston journalism major from Summerville, SC. He attends Howard University and served as 2016-17 editor-in-chief of The Hilltop.