Prior to the James Madison vs. William and Mary homecoming game (a 31-24 victory), JMU players were surprised with new black uniforms and purple chrome helmets in their lockers.

How they managed to keep these under wraps I don’t understand, but I’m ready to crown these the alternate uniforms of the year in college football for 2014 (so far). Also, their reaction to the new uniforms ranks right up there with the mother of all reaction videos (Ohio reacting to their all black look back in 2011).

As soon as the players enter the locker room and see them you can sense a ton of genuine excitement, and a brand new energy. That’s what uniforms can do for high school/college kids.

At his press conference yesterday, head coach Everett Withers explained the advantage that a new uniform and shiny helmet can bring to a program out on the recruiting trail.

“My son’s 14 and he gets all geeked up over it.” Withers explained. “I know 17,18-year olds love it…they call it swag. They like that stuff.”

“The more swag you got, the more chances you got of getting a kid nowadays. You better have pretty shiny stuff to go recruit nowadays. If you don’t, you’re not getting them.”

“Any athletic program you run is like a business. You’re always trying to find a way to help your business, and our business is really playing football games and recruiting.”

“So it’s about recruiting. Everything we do is about recruiting. I’ve had hits on Twitter all day long from recruits about the swag uniforms. So that’s real important for us. It was important for our players.”

Here’s a few more looks at the uniforms, courtesy of coach Withers’ Twitter feed.