ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) – The University of Central Florida soccer team did something or, more specifically, wore something unconventional in their spring game on Saturday.
Each player’s last name had been swapped for each player’s Twitter handle.
â€œIt was just an idea among our staff,â€ said Knights head coach Gus Malzahn. â€œWe have a very creative staff. We all agree when we say we believe the future of college football is here. This is just the first step and trying to look to the future and I think that was a good thing. “
The team chose to target Twitter because it has a relatively young alumni group.
â€œIf you really look at it, we have 322,000 alumni alive and the average age is 36. They’re all on social media. We have 72,000 students on social media, â€said Malzahn,â€œ and this is the new era of personal branding and we are going to adopt it under NCAA rules. This is who we are and this is what we are going to be.
Malzahn added a funny story to support this decision.
â€œSome of these great schools,â€ he said, â€œthe average age of their alumni is 65 and they’re all on Facebook, so we have a big advantage. My mom is on Facebook. She checked it last night actually.
He said he’s not worried that supporting the “personal brand” will lead to a division within the team.
â€œWe’re going to be a team,â€ he said. â€œThere is no gray area with this at all. It’s just the new era of college football, what the future will look like, and it’s going to be different and we’re going to be that team and that group that looks to the future and prepares for it but, don’t be mistaken, we are a team and we are an extremely tight-knit team.
Players showed their support for the new jerseys on Twitter.
Quarterback Dillon Gabriel emphasized the innovative nature of the team.
Big Kat Bryant, a new defensive end to the program, said he loved the energy of his head coach.
The Knights will open the 2021 season at home against the Boise State Broncos. While they’re not likely to sport Twitter’s pseudonyms in this game, you should expect them to remain relevant when it comes to the “new age of college football.”