Valley News Live (Fargo, ND)Bison
April 20, 2022
Some Bison football players are going to be wearing new headgear this fall. The Bison will be adding 25 Xenith Helmets to their rotation. Xenith has made several improvements to their helmets to help protect players and have even received a $496,000 grant from the NFL after being named a finalist in their Helmet Challenge, a contest designed to improving helmet safety.
“It tells me that NDSU cares about their athletes, they care about player safety, and they’ve done their research which is awesome.” said Xenith representative Clint Brightman. “It says a lot about NDSU to make this kind of commitment and break free from the norm of Brand R and Brand S that’s out there on Sunday a lot.”
North Dakota State Director of Equipment Nathan Bjoralt added that “It’s awesome to make sure that they’re staying safe and that if it’s practice or a game, they can go out there game after game and we know they’re going to have the top of the line safety standards that we’re going to provide for them.”
The Bison have several different types of helmets to make sure that they can fit each player’s needs and playing style properly… What sets these Xenith helmets apart is their ability to absorb and disperse contact without it affecting the players.
“The inside, the actual guts of the helmet was quite different.” Bjoralt said about the helmet’s inner linings, “The liners were different, just the impact absorption was completely new. It’s definitely something I think the market is moving towards more. It’s just shock-absorbant what’s inside their helmet.”
“If you squeeze it, low to medium impact, it’s soft. But if you bang on it, it actually firms up.” Brightman said as he slammed the material on his table to show how it worked. “They’re going to be able to say when they recruit that we have the option now to put any of our athletes in literally some of the highest tech available on planet earth for football.”
The new helmets have gained a reputation for their safety and comfort, something that became apparent when the players got to try them on at practice.
“If I just say ‘hey buddy, you want to wear this in the season?’ they just say oh I know nothing about it. They wear it for practice and they’re like holy cow.” Brightman said on his trip to practice this Spring. “It’s super excited that we’re building that. We’ve got a few helmets here and there with some programs, but to have it here at NDSU, it’s proud for me too.”
The helmets for the Bison are currently being built and the team will likely get them this summer, just in time for the season to start in the fall.