While watching college football this afternoon I saw a couple college football players with stickers on the back of their helmets.

Why are there stickers on the back helmets of football players ? Are they badges for recognition?

Do all players start the season with a «clean slate» helmet or do stickers remain for a second or third season?

1 Answer 1


For more then 40 years Helmet stickers used to signify achievements in college football.

Example to NCAA helmet stickers

In 1965, Miami University in Ohio became the first school to award college football helmet stickers.
The idea originated with assistant coach Jim Young. As a former World War II fighter pilot, Young recalled the practice of putting small
enemy flags on his plane every time he shot down a foe.
So he convinced the Miami head coach to award tomahawk helmet stickers for extraordinary plays.

The interesting question is How do college football players earn helmet stickers?

The criteria for those stickers vary between schools, for the majority it is awarded on outstanding plays during a game.

Here are some examples:

  1. In Ohio state the stickers are given for outstanding plays during a game but only if the team won this game.
  2. Georgia Dogs get bones stickers, White for football plays, black for academic.
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  3. North Western gives a single sticker for every win.
  4. Michigan State and Stanford also give stickers for excellence in practice.
  5. Tomahawk stickers can be taken away for negative plays.
  6. Illinois has blue decals to reward on-field performance on the left side of the helmet, and white ones to honor off-field work on the right side. enter image description here

Watch this great video who used me as source -
The story behind the tradition of helmet stickers in college football

Sources: 1 2

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