College Football Uniforms Designed to Attract Recruits

By RALPH D. RUSSO | September 14, 2011 | 6:25 PM EDT

In this photo taken Sept. 5, 2011, members of the Maryland football team transition during a change of possession in the first half of an NCAA football game against Miami in College Park, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(AP) - The wild uniforms you're seeing on Maryland, Oklahoma State and other college football teams this season are more than just a fashion statement.

They're part of a strategy by schools to grab the attention of prospective recruits with cutting-edge gear.

What Maryland is doing under new athletic director Kevin Anderson is called rebranding. With a big boost from Under Armour CEO and Maryland alum Kevin Plank, Anderson is trying to create a hipper image for the Terrapins.

It's a strategy reminiscent of what Oregon did in the mid-1990s, when it struck a deal with Nike, founded by alum Phil Knight. Oregon officials were looking for a way to draw more attention to a football program that was on the upswing but still living in relative anonymity.