Past and Present Buckeyes Like New Nike Uniform
By Rob Ogden
The Buckeyes will turn back the clock Tuesday night vs. Michigan with new retro-looking Nike uniforms, but one former Buckeye is stuck somewhere in between.
"Man, I wish I wore those," former Ohio State point guard Scoonie Penn (1998-2000) said about the gray uniforms the Buckeyes will debut. "I wanted to wear the grays because I remember watching Jimmy (Jackson) and those guys. Even you'd see the pictures of Clark (Kellogg) and Ron Stokes, Jay Burson and these guys all had on the grays and we didn't get to wear the grays."
The look is similar to what Jackson and the Buckeyes wore in the early 1990s with the player's number sandwiched between "Ohio" and "State".
The main difference with the Nike Hyper Elite Dominance uniforms of today and the jerseys worn by Jackson and company are the scarlet shorts.
Senior Aaron Craft and junior Amir Williams hadn't seen the new uniforms as of Monday afternoon.
"It was gonna be a surprise," Craft said.
But the two quickly glanced at a picture of the new digs, which Nike designed for seven schools, including Michigan State, Duke and Syracuse.
"We haven't seen them yet," he said. "I'm excited. I like the one's that I've seen so far from Michigan State."
The Spartans debuted their gold jerseys Feb. 1 against Georgetown.
Penn's teammate, George Reese, wasn't as impressed with Nike's work.
"Those are okay," Reese said about the Ohio State uniforms. "They have that Jim Jackson/Lawrence Funderburke (look). Brings back memories. I would like them more if they went with the all gray uni instead of red shorts."
Former Buckeye Tony Stockman also wishes he would have had the opportunity to don to grays. He told the-Ozone last month that former coach Jim O'Brien didn't like the gray uniforms, so they never got to wear them, but Penn had a different story.
"I heard it wasn't because O'Brien didn't like them. I heard it was because – and I could be wrong – I guess one time they wore the grays they got blown out really bad and then after that they wouldn't wear them anymore."
According to the Nike release, the uniforms feature "a rounded neckline with bonded taping inspired by the 1960 jersey, while the 1992 look lends red graphics and gray background. The shorts feature the current Ohio State logo with taping reminiscent of the 1992 short."
The Buckeyes also wore alternate jerseys against Michigan last year in Ann Arbor.
Ohio State lost that game 76-74 in overtime.
Penn never had the chance to wear any alternate uniform.
"All of that started coming in the 2000s when uniforms really started changing," he said. "But most teams really didn't have alternate uniforms. Now I'm sitting here like, 'Man, why didn't we get to wear these uniforms when I was at school?' But you know, Nike's on a different level. They're always changing something up."
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