Jaire Alexander, Jaylen Samuels make loud fashion statements at ACC Kickoff

ACC Media Days are a time where college athletes can let loose, and several did in a big way

Jeremy Brevard—USA Today Sports
Louisville Cardinals cornerback Jaire Alexander speaks to the media during the ACC Kickoff at the Westin Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE — For the most part, college athletes only get to show their fashion sense through small changes in their uniforms.Maybe it’s an extra wristband or arm sleeve. It might be different colored cleats from the rest of the team. In some cases, a visor or visibly distinctive facemask can help a player stand out.But on ACC Media Days, players get to let it all hang out. While some don’t always choose to go the extravagant route.Last year, former Clemson and current Panthers linebacker Ben Boulware showed up with the loudest outfit in Charlotte. The suit was complete with a tan blazer, pastel shirt, pink tie and light blue capris that lit up the ACC Kickoff event.Christian Wilkins was the Clemson defensive representative this year, but went with a much more subdued gray suit and matching gray tie. His thoughts on upholding Boulware’s standards from last season?”He dresses up and looks good,” Wilkins explained. “But I’m sexy. Being sexy is an art.”This year’s winner was clearly Jaire Alexander. The Louisville cornerback showed up to Charlotte — his hometown — with an olive-colored blazer and bowtie, white pocket square and floral shirt and socks to tie everything together.As the first player to enter the media room, Alexander certainly made a statement with the ensemble.Y’all, the suit game from @_10ville was on point, but the sock game was ! #ACCKickoff pic.twitter.com/hQCoEpPhqE— Cory Smith (@RCorySmith) July 13, 2017
So how much thought went into the suit?”Ehhhh, it took a little thought,” Alexander said after popping out the pocket square a little further. “Not too much, though, because I like to dress up. It’s almost effortless.”Then there were players like Bradley Chubb, who went the more “team affiliation” route with a black suit and bright red tie. It’s not that Chubb doesn’t take pride in his fashion, but he said he chose his outfit more out of necessity when he was told he needed to bring a suit.When asked whether or not he’d wear Alexander’s suit — yes, I had to ask — the senior seemed like he wished he had one more ACC Kickoff in him to make his #STATEment.”Man, that’s a pretty nice suit,” Chubb said, peering over at Alexander. “I would probably wear it, I just wouldn’t go out and buy it. They said to wear a suit, so I got a black suit with a white shirt. … I just wore a suit like I was supposed to and not be too flashy.”Fellow NC State player Jaylen Samuels didn’t go flashy with his suit either — a black suit and black skinny tie — but his shoes were on another level.The newly-crowned king of the “All-purpose back” position — the ACC created the position on the all-conference ballots for him — walked around the Westin in red loafers that could be spotted from a mile away.”It was either these or black,” Samuels said. “I didn’t wanna be basic.”
Those [email protected] broke out his signing day kicks for #ACCKickoff #1Pack1Goal pic.twitter.com/OvlfwHPFFX— NC State Football (@PackFootball) July 13, 2017
Mission accomplished. They were such a hit at ACC Kickoff that a Twitter account was created in their honor.The red shoes were actually a throwback for JaySam, who wore them during his signing day when he committed to NC State. Returning to Charlotte years after signing his letter of intent to play for Dave Doeren in 2014, Samuels rocked the Faranzi loafers one more time.”I really just forgot about them,” Samuels said. “I came here and everybody liked them.”The only issue Doeren had with the loafers? There was only one pair.”I wish he would have got a pair for me, too,″ N.C. State’s Doeren said. “I would have worn them.″There’s a lot of season left, Dave. Might be time to some for the next visit to Charlotte for the season opener against South Carolina in 50 days.