Nike outfits Frogs in new skin By Stefan Stevenson The TCU football team will have a different look Saturday for its biggest game this year. The fourth-ranked Horned Frogs will be wearing specially designed, state-of-the-art Nike uniforms called Nike Pro Combat, which the company calls "football’s lightest system of dress ever created." TCU is one of 10 schools nationally that were selected to debut the new uniform this month before they are officially introduced at the start of the 2010 season. The new jersey is made of four-way stretch twill, which does not hold sweat or water, making it lighter than the current design even when wet. The pants are made with four-way stretch Lycra. The new design is more than just a new appearance. Underneath the player’s jersey and pants is a padded base layer, with strategically placed padding zones in Nike’s Deflex shorts, which cover a player’s thighs, hips and tailbone. The padding zones are comprised of dual-density foam cells that absorb, deflect and disperse the impact of on-field collisions, according to Nike. Padding built directly into the base layer is believed to allow players greater mobility. "Players need their uniforms to be as light as possible so they can play the game at top speed," Kris Aman, Nike’s global vice president and general manager for athletic training, said in a statement. "The Nike Pro Combat uniform is a modern system of dress that is dramatically lighter while providing durability and protection." There are special TCU-only touches on the uniforms, which will be on display before a sold-out crowd at Amon G. Carter Stadium when TCU (9-0, 5-0 Mountain West Conference) plays 16th-ranked Utah (8-1, 5-0) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The pants and helmet have a digitally sublimated Horned Frog skin print, and embroidered on the inner collar of every jersey is the Frogs’ 2009 battle cry "Don’t Back Down," which was inspired by the Tom Petty song I Won’t Back Down. The new helmet sports two red lines from the front to the back, which represents the blood that shoots from a Horned Frog’s eyes when under attack. The purple jersey has a simple "HORNED FROGS" in white across the chest over a large jersey number. Nike also unveiled its new Zoom Vapor Fly cleats, which are customized for TCU with the team colors and logo. The jersey is 25% lighter than the normal jersey, and is designed so that it won’t retain moisture, keeping it light even in wet conditions. Helmet Painted in a lizard skin print, with dual red stripes running down the center to symbolize the blood an agitated horned frog can shoot from its eyes. Pants Feature the same skin print as the helmet and have a titanium belt loop that is 66 percent lighter than the normal loop.