All Ute players got new shoes. Everyone except the Ute kicker, that is.

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utes cleats

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Photo by Jonathan Bachman

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As I mentioned in the last post, the University of Utah players were showing off their brand new Under Armor cleats complete with University of Utah colors, team logo and "Utes" written across the back. After what their New Years' plans were and what it was like to practice in the Superdome, the shoes had to be the biggest topic of conversation.

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"Under Armor hooked us up," junior safety Robert Johnson said. "We appreciate Under Armor cause they make us look good."

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Indeed. This is the University of Utah's first season with Under Armor as its official outfitter, as noted in page 13 of the team's media guide. Among other things, the team gets to "take part in testing futurist gear and fabrications", which includes these new cleats for the Sugar Bowl. Though, won't wearing brand new cleats give the players blisters?

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 "We try to break them in as much as possible for the game," cornerback Sean Smith said.

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With just a day to do that so far, that's meant players have been wearing the cleats constantly, including in their hotel. Despite not having an opportunity to play with the cleats for too long, Smith said that he can definitely tell that the cleats are an improvement on their old ones.

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"They feel a whole lot lighter," Smith said. "I don't know if they changed the plating on the bottom or not but we feel fast out there."

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Tell that to punter Louie Sakoda. He was wearing a plain black pair of Adidas sneakers and didn't seem too happy to talk about the new cleats.

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"Yea I didn't get a pair," he said, pretty dejected. "Apparently — I don't know. I'll talk to them about it later."

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Sakoda took the apparent slight in stride, saying that even if he got the new pair of cleats he'd be sticking with "the pair that got me to where I'm at today." Though, when pressed, Sakoda did say he would still try to get his hands on pair of the new shoes.

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"I probably will try and get a pair 'cause those are some sweet cleats," he said.

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