Thanks to a generous donation from the Walt and Teri Bettinger Foundation, every player at Division III Ohio Northern will have the opportunity to be outfitted in the VICIS Zero1 helmet, the school shared in a release.
You'll likely remember Vicis as the helmet company that made waves for this popular gif showing off how their helmets absorb impact differently than traditional helmets.
In an annual study done by the National Football League Player's Association, the VICIS Zero1 has been the top-rated helmet in each of the last three years. Virginia Tech, who runs an impact-testing program and released helmet rankings for the high school and college levels dating back to 2011 has also given the Vicis Zero1 high marks as a 5-star helmet.
Ohio Northern is believed to be the first small college program in the country to do this for this players. Players who don't fit in the Vicis helmets will obviously have other helmet options.
“Player safety is a top priority in our program. Our staff vision is to go above and beyond to provide our players with the best of science and innovation," head coach Dean Paul shared.
Not only is this great news for their current roster, but committing to outfitting their players in the top-rated helmets on the market will be a valuable recruiting tool moving forward for the program as well.
“We are so thankful to Walt and Teri Bettinger for this gift. It means that we will keep our players safe and provide our program with the best opportunity for success on the field and in the classroom. In addition, when future prospective student-athletes and parents visit ONU they will know that we are committed to player safety and have provided access to the best helmet in football," Paul shared.
This is the type of thing that has the potential to change the future of Ohio Northern football, so they'll be an interesting program to watch moving forward.
Head here to read more in the full release.