Hokies engineer a safer football player

By Christopher Lusk

If you live on the East Coast, you may know the reputation of the engineering program at Virginia Tech.  What you may not know is that because of the engineering program, Hokie football players are now safer.

This spring, the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech evaluated the level of protection against concussions offered by several leading football helmets.  The engineering students then rated the level of concussion protection offered by each helmet from 1-5 stars. The engineers also deemed one helmet to be unacceptable.

Prior to completion of this study, Virginia Tech players were allowed to select which helmet they wanted to wear.  For example, last year Quarterback Tyrod Taylor chose to wear a basic Riddell helmet, like the ones that you would find on most youth league players. This helmet received only one star on a five-star scale. Based on this rating, Virginia Tech players are no longer wearing this type of helmet.

This season Virginia Tech made a conscious effort to take player safety to a new level, as players are only allowed to wear either a Riddell Revolution (four-star rating), or a Riddell Revolution Speed  (five-star rating).  By making this change, the likelihood of a player suffering a concussion is greatly reduced.

Keeping players healthy not only helps the individual player, it helps the team by keeping the players on the field. The four most productive offensive player, Logan Thomas, David Wilson, Jarrett Boykin, and Danny Coale all wear the Revolution Speed, the highest rated helmet at preventing concussions.

Surprisingly, being great against concussions is not directly related with the cost of each helmet, the best helmet, Revolution Speed, is the 3rd most expensive at $243 per helmet, and the Riddell Revolution is the 6th most expensive at $183 dollars. One of the helmets that is more expensive at 199 dollars is the Adams A2000 which was not even good enough against concussions which received a “not recommended” rating.

A link to the website with the results of the study, with pictures and prices for each helmet is below.

http://www.sbes.vt.edu/nid.php

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