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Georgia Southern to honor Erk Russell with special uniforms

Too often in college football, people -- and by people I mean Nike, Adidas and Under Armour -- try to "make statements" and "tell stories" with uniforms.

"This stripe down the helmets represents our commitment to playing without fear."
"Really? It looks like a stripe to me."

These Georgia Southern uniforms really do tell a story. The Eagles will honor founding coach Erk Russell, who left his job as Georgia's defensive coordinator to serve as the inaugural head coach of the Eagles' program. He never suffered a losing season in his eight years as head coach, posting an 83-22-1 record and rolling off four NCAA Division I-AA national championship game appearances with three victories in his final four seasons before his 1989 retirement. Russell's GATA mantra lives on in Statesboro nearly 30 years later.

So how is Georgia Southern going to represent all that in a football uniform?

• the stripes going down the sides to represent the three national championships won under Russell;
• the stripes also symbolize Beautiful Eagle Creek, which Russell turned into a treasure among Eagle Nation;
• the middle stripe is gold to signify the rich history of Georgia Southern football and the unprecedented six NCAA I-AA national titles;
• the script "Eagles" on the jersey and helmet;
• the stripes on the sides of the pants stop at the thighs before reaching the bottom of the pants, representing the athletic department's current motto of "Continue the Journey" as it has made the move to the FBS and the Sun Belt Conference.

See for yourself below.

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These beauties will take the field Saturday against New Mexico State.