Charlotte Observer: Charlotte 49ers Unveil Their New Helmet
UNC Charlotte 49ers' helmet. Photo: John D. Simmons, Charlotte Observer In building the Charlotte 49ers football program that will begin play in 2013, head coach Brad Lambert has made recruiting a priority in virtually everything he and his staff are doing. That includes selecting the white helmets the 49ers will wear. With construction on the school's new football stadium ongoing behind him, Lambert unveiled the team's headgear Wednesday morning, another tangible step in the progress toward Charlotte's first football game 401 days from Thursday. Uniforms will be unveiled early next year, Lambert said. In visiting with prospective players, Lambert had green, gold and white helmets in his office. He listened as prospects and recruits studied them. "It comes down to recruiting. Everything we do comes down to recruiting for us. This one resonated," Lambert said, holding the helmet. It's white with flecks of green, a white face mask and green, gold and black 49ers logos on each side. "We're taking our brand out representing the Charlotte 49ers and we think this helmet does that. That's who we are." With college football practice starting around the region in the next two weeks, Lambert can feel the gathering momentum of a program coming to life. Though the first game is more than a year away, there's a rhythm and schedule to what the 49ers are doing. Students report Aug. 16 and Lambert expects to have approximately 80 players when the team commences conditioning work on Aug. 27. The 49ers signed 27 players in their first recruiting class and Lambert anticipates a large contingent of walk-ons to join the program. After three weeks of conditioning, the 49ers will begin structured practices that will include the installation of offensive and defensive schemes. The 49ers will hold several intrasquad scrimmages during the fall, mostly on Saturdays. The scrimmages will be open to fans and recruits and will be held in the new stadium which should be grassed and available to the team in late September. "It's becoming real now," Lambert said. "We're setting up team meetings with academic advisors and our compliance people. It's getting really close. It feels normal again."