There are plaids and neutrals, lines and solids, air ties and bow ties, and a multitude of colors when Georgia walks into whatever stadium it’s playing in on Saturdays. Some players wear polos, others opt for dress shirts. The only rules are they have to wear a jacket and pants.
Two years ago, every player would have worn the same outfit — jersey, football pants and cleats — when exiting the team buses. In one arm they would have carried their shoulder pads and helmet. In the other, maybe a duffel bag.
Ever since Kirby Smart became the head coach at Georgia, he has mandated players wear dress clothes before Georgia’s games. The only game the Bulldogs didn’t during his almost two-year tenure was G-Day, 2016.
“Wearing the suits, it’s a business trip,” senior outside linebacker Davin Bellamy said. “We go to work and we go home, so we put on suits.”
Georgia isn’t the only team to wear dress clothes as it walks into a stadium. Alabama and Notre Dame, among others, do as well. Some teams wear matching sweat suits. Usually, there’s some degree of coordination that symbolizes unity.
During the school year, there aren’t many opportunities for college students, much less football players, to wear dress clothes. So the Bulldogs take advantage of their chance to dress up on Saturday.
“You (hear) guys early in the week saying, ‘I got something for y’all this week,’ ” Bellamy said. “I love it. Everyone looks good in a suit.”
Before Georgia’s 42-7 win over Florida last Saturday, defensive lineman Trent Thompson wore a seersucker suit with a pink dress shirt and blue bow tie. Running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel both wore turtlenecks under their jackets.
When Georgia walked into Sanford Stadium for its season opener, wide receiver Terry Godwin wore a bright plaid jacket with a white shirt and turquoise tie that complemented his coat. Behind him, freshman offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson sported a bright red suit with white dress shoes, a white dress shirt, gold necklace, black pocket square and a red bow tie with Georgia “G” logos on it.
Though some players wear clothes with eye-popping colors and patterns, others are more subdued. For instance, quarterback Jake Fromm has worn khakis, a jacket and a dress shirt without a tie on multiple occasions.
Regardless, the Bulldogs said wearing suits helps create a business-like atmosphere. As they walk into the stadium, Godwin said he and his teammates know there is a job to be done. In their case, that job is winning a football game.
Besides, one Georgia player thinks Georgia’s game day dress code appeals to the opposite sex.
“Girls like it,” cornerback Tyrique McGhee said. “So whatever girls like, I’m pretty sure we’re going to agree with it.”