The LSU football program announced on Friday that it has partnered with a Louisiana sports technology startup to develop a new helmet that features battery-powered fans to enhance air flow inside and eliminate fog on the visor.
Just last month, two LSU players were outspoken about their displeasure with a new face-shield that was introduced to fight the spread of COVID-19. Starting left tackle Austin Deculus said it was like "breathing in a Ziploc bag." Redshirt junior outside linebacker Soni Fonua added "I can't [expletive] breathe under this thing" in a TikTok video that surfaced on Twitter.
Fog up on a helmet visor, especially in the Louisiana heat, can lead to fatigue and dangerous health conditions, including heat stroke. But now—at least at the moment—LSU feels like they've found the solution for a more comfortable helmet as the season nears.
"The new devices, literally driven by the fans are being tested by LSU players," said a statement from the athletic department. "The improvements will help them stay cooler and more comfortable on the field, allowing the athletes to keep their helmets and additional COVID-19 safety gear on longer."
The release also states that the portable power packs can last up to eight hours, meaning players could keep their helmets on for an entire game without issue.
"Player health and safety is a top priority at LSU," said Head Coach Ed Orgeron. "Our staff makes sure our players have the best equipment and technology so we can have them on the field as safe as possible."
The Tigers held their first preseason scrimmage inside Tiger Stadium Friday afternoon, just three weeks away from the season opener against Mississippi State.