Alumnus and current Buffalo Bills wide receiver Andre Holmes ’11 donated new uniforms to the Hillsdale College football team. (Photo: Charger Athletics | Courtesy)

When assistant coach Pat Hornak came up at the end of the football team’s practice last week, the team expected a routine announcement. Instead, Hornak unzipped his jacket, revealing new uniforms for the team.

“They went nuts,” head coach Keith Otterbein said.

Hillsdale alumnus and current Buffalo Bills wide receiver Andre Holmes ’11 donated the the jerseys. A dark gray with white script, they are welcome addition to the blue and white uniforms currently in the team’s rotation, said senior captain Danny Drummond.

“The gray looks pretty cool,” Drummond said. “It’s a good compliment to our white and blue.”

Otterbein agreed.

“They’re very sharp,” he said. “They turned out well.”

Drummond said he likes how comfortable the uniforms are, saying they provide a “good range of motion.”

The team didn’t just get new uniforms, though. The team also debuted new white helmets on Sept. 9. Chargers football hadn’t ever had white helmets before this season, according to Sports Information Director Brad Monastiere. The team wore another new white helmet on Saturday, featuring the “Chargers” script.

Originally, the team was only supposed to receive new helmets. Last winter, it was given a choice between new helmets or new uniforms.

“I knew I could afford something,” Otterbein said. “The players decided to go with the helmets.”

That was when Otterbein approached Holmes.

“As a former player, you have a pretty close relationship with the guys,” Otterbein said.

The coach said this was Holmes’ first time donating to the program, though he declined to comment on the cost of the uniforms.

Being able to debut the new uniforms at the game with ESPN in attendance was a “happy coincidence,” Otterbein said.

Drummond said the team plans to next wear the new uniforms on Senior Day.

“We’re going to wear at least one component of them as much as possible because they’re so comfortable,” Drummond said.