Danny Trevathan and Winston Guy had an especially early Tuesday morning.
On top of a regular team meeting at 7 a.m., the two star linebackers were called to the equipment room, otherwise known as "Fort Knox", for supposed maintenance on their shoulder pads mandated by coach Joker Phillips. Immediately suspicious of the true reason for their summons, Trevathan and Guy weren't sure what was up, but they had an idea.
The real reason for their early wakeup call was a modeling assignment. Trevathan and Guy were to don brand new black uniforms the Wildcats will wear for a matchup against Mississippi State at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Though Trevathan had an inkling what was coming, the moment he saw he was about to wear took him back to his childhood.
"I almost passed out," Trevathan said. "It was like Christmas."
Click here to see a photo gallery of the unveiling
Wearing their new get-ups, Trevathan and Guy stood outside the doors to the meeting room where Phillips was addressing the rest of team, waiting for the right moment to charge in and show their teammates the highly anticipated new look.
"It's something that we wanted to do to throw the guys a bone," Phillips said. "We pulled them out at the team meeting and had Danny and Winston came out dressed in them and the crowd goes wild."
The response was exactly what Phillips and the staff were looking for. Trevathan summed up the appeal of the uniforms when he said, "black is attitude," and the anticipation of wearing them will hopefully translate to just a little extra motivation during a week of preparation. Even so, Phillips made sure to impart to his team that the onus to play well is still on them.
"Anything that we can do to generate some excitement is good," Phillips said. "I think there will be more excitement if we are making plays in those black uniforms. We explained to them that these uniforms don't make plays and that the players wearing them have to prepare themselves and have the right attitude."
If they don't have the right attitude and play poorly on Saturday, the team should not expect to see the uniforms emerge out of "Fort Knox" anytime in the near future.
"They know that because that's the deal," Phillips said. "If we don't play well, we won't see them again."
Trevathan understands the arrangement.
"I think if we want to get more of this, we've got to perform," Trevathan said.
Guy went a step further, saying the uniforms cannot become a distraction. The Cats already knew what kind of intensity it was going to take to beat Mississippi State this weekend and the uniforms must not do anything but hone that focus.
"We've just got to play behind the look," Guy said. "We can't let the uniforms sidetrack us from what we've got to do on Saturday."