It seems that the South Carolina football team could be one of the premiere programs in player safety and health awareness when it comes to football.
A couple USC players are taking the next step. Senior linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams and sophomore wide receiver Bryan Edwards will be sporting custom made helmets by Riddell this season.
Riddell approached USC and the players to try their prototypes. These helmets have padding that is molded and fitted specifically to the size and shape of their heads after some cranium scans. It's to help reduce impacts and prevent concussions.
Players also have their signatures on them too. Bryson was all in when asked to try it out.
“Especially with all the stuff about CTE coming out having a helmet like this that you know is professionally made to your head and to have protection behind it. It was really nice to have," Allen-Williams said.
Not only are the two players testing out the helmets this season but they've become ambassadors as well.
"Me and Bryan were one of the first two to get that type of helmet. They were talking to me about moving forward trying to get more guys custom helmets that fit your head and not just use helmets that are generic," Allen-Williams added.
A recent study at Boston University found CTE in 75 percent of over 200 brains they studied. 110 out of 111 NFL players brains they studied had CTE according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
We see more young players leaving and retiring from football because of more information that is coming out about CTE. Allen-Williams and Edwards, who will have the custom Riddell helmets, say that for right now CTE isn't much of a concern.
"When we're on the field and playing the game it doesn't really come to mind. But when you see all the research that's being done and all the steps that are being taken to help you think about it a lot but at the end of the day we just want to play the game," Edwards said.
"We live in the moment. We know those things happen. You just got to be prepared for anything that can happen but it's not something that really comes up," Allen-Williams said.
Hopefully the Riddell custom helmets and those like it will help all players feel more prepared, comfortable and safer as they pursue their football dreams.