The saying goes: Look good, feel good, play good.
New York Giants legend Michael Strahan knows the mantra well and wanted to empower the football team at his alma mater, Texas Southern University, with those same words.
"What you wear is a big part of how you present yourself. I’m up early every day and am constantly on the go, from the studio to meetings to the gym," Strahan, who is now a popular television host, said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports. "I need to make sure whatever I am wearing makes me feel comfortable and confident."
Through his partnership with Men's Wearhouse, the seven-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman worked with TSU to design custom suits from his Michael Strahan brand for all 129 members of the football team, players and coaches. The team even had a day on campus where they were fit for the suits.
"Every piece of clothing from my brand reflects these priorities and are designed so that anyone who wears it will look good and feel even better," he said.
The Tigers debuted the gray suits when they opened the season against Prairie View earlier this month. Each jacket has red accents to represent the school's colors and a lining that featured the TSU wordmark logo.
“These suits are customized to represent Texas Southern University in every stitch,” Dr. Kevin Granger, TSU's vice president for Intercollegiate Athletics, said in a statement. “As we’ve gone through the process of fitting and trying on, we’ve seen the confidence these suits elicit in our student-athletes. It is our hope to see that same confidence translate onto the playing field, into the classroom and beyond.”
Strahan also helped design custom suits for his friend, Deion Sanders, and his school, Jackson State University. He expressed excitement at giving back to the HBCU programs, as TSU had a lasting impact on him.
"Attending an HBCU helped shape me into the man I am today. When you’re on campus, there is a sense of belonging, unity, and connectivity," he said. "It was a great environment for me to learn and grow as an individual. Texas Southern made my improbable journey possible."
College football continues to be a billion-dollar industry, exemplified by massive television and coaching contracts. But HBCUs continue to face struggles, such as when Jackson State was flooded or Florida A&M had more than 20 players deemed ineligible prior to its season opener.
Strahan said he's hopeful projects like these custom suits will empower HBCU students on and off the gridiron.
"HBCUs don’t have the same access or resources as other schools. I know this firsthand," Strahan said. "We were able to bring a unique experience to these student-athletes and get these young men fitted for success. These suits aren’t just for game day, they can be worn for interviews, work, meetings, and other moments in life."
The Tigers are wearing the suits to every game this season, home and away. After starting the season with two losses, the Tigers got their first win Saturday when they beat Southern University 24-0. The sartorial swagger has kicked in.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Michael Strahan designs custom suits for TSU, Jackson State football