There’s no question that football is evolving. Rules of the game are changing, players are getting faster and stronger, and schemes are becoming more advanced. In an era where everything is tipped in favor of the offense and speed is a coveted trait, you need a cleat that’ll perform beyond the standard and help you reach new heights.
Introducing the Nike Vapor Edge 360 football cleat, engineered for speed and agility. Following up the Vapor Untouchable from 2019, the newest edition of Nike’s Vapor line was inspired and designed using feedback from actual professional football players. The Vapor Edge series utilizes a secure, 360-degree Flyknit upper that’s reinforced by a durable NIKESKIN overlay. This cleat also features a stylish and practical ghost lacing system for faster lacing and minimal distractions on the field. With multidirectional movement in mind, Nike also widened the distance between studs on the outsole to help with quick cuts and explosive traction upon takeoff.
A perfectly comprised football team is like a squadron of
superheroes; each individual has their own personality, skill set, and traits
that define them. They work tirelessly to perfect these skills and become the
best at what they do, but when these individuals come together as one, they
leave their enemies in a wake of destruction.
Eastbay sat down with Todd Gurley, Jarvis Landry, and Cam Jordan to see what makes each of them a supernatural talent at their position.
As a three-time captain for Los Angeles, Todd Gurley leads
by example on the football field. In 2017, he recorded a league-best 2,093 yards
from scrimmage and scored 19 touchdowns in just 15 games. In 2018, Gurley
followed up his impressive season with another league-leading performance, reaching
the endzone 21 times in only 14 games.
Gurley’s natural talent is undeniable. His lethal combination
of speed, agility, and power make him the ultimate modern-day running back. But
for Gurley, it’s not just his raw skill, his success also hinges on his ability
to trick the defenders with his cunning instincts.
“We running backs love getting the ball in hand and being able to run full speed at the defender, but they don’t know which way we’re going,” Gurley said. “Right, left, straight through them. For me, I just kind of take that mindset of I can’t be stopped.”
Gurley also just loves the game of football. He’s watched
the generation before him and wants to be just as good, if not better, than
anyone who has played the position.
“When I step on the field, the feeling that football gives
me is super exciting,” Gurley said. “You know everyone in the world is watching
and you just want to go out there and put on a show.”
Although it seems that Gurley does it all by himself, he
credits being surrounded by a great coach, talented team, and, of course, the
best gear in the game.
Gurley rocks the Nike Alpha Menace cleat and he believes
it’s true to its name.
“If you’re a true running back, then you’re an alpha and a
menace,” Gurley said. “Let that marinate.”
After five professional seasons, Jarvis Landry has solidified himself as one of the league’s most charismatic playmakers to date. He’s caught at least 80 balls and gained over 750 receiving yards in each of those five seasons and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Landry’s lightning-fast first step
and exceptional hands make him a threat from basically anywhere on the field.
But for Landry, he attests that his production on Sundays is a result of a long
history of behind-the-scenes work that made him who he is today.
“I think a lot of my success is from the things I do when the lights aren’t on.” Landry said. “Running the stadium stairs in high school or breaking into the facility to work out in the mornings in college. I just make sure I’m always working.”
With all that preparation comes
confidence, and when Landry is feeling unstoppable, defenders be warned — there
isn’t a play he can’t make.
“I’m always preparing myself.
Preparing my body and preparing my mind.” Landry said. “That’s why I believe
there isn’t a catch that’s impossible. I can make every catch on the field.”
That feeling of invincibility is
embodied perfectly by the cleat Landry wears while torching defensive backs.
His Nike Vapor Untouchables personify exactly how he feels on the field.
“When I step on the football
field, I feel untouchable,” Landry said. “Once the ball is in the air, you know
that’s my ball and nobody else’s.”
Standing at 6 foot 4 inches and 287 pounds, Cam Jordan was born to be a ferocious defender. His straight-line speed coupled with an arsenal of overpowering swim moves strikes fear into the heart of any opposing player lined up against him in the trenches.
But Jordan isn’t just a physical specimen, he’s one of the
most determined athletes on the planet and he believes that mindset is what drove
him to where he is today.
“Everything that propels me to be me is really the competitive drive that I have,” Jordan said. “I want to be faster than the fastest. I want to be stronger than the strongest. I want to be smarter than the smartest.”
Jordan also says that his versality puts him in complete
control when he’s on the field. When everybody else is playing checkers, he’s
playing chess. He can alter the game with one quick decision or disrupt a
certain play with sheer brute force.
“It’s really what I can do that’s going to put me in the
best position to get after the quarterback,” Jordan said. “If I’m lined up
against a strong guy, I’m using speed. If he’s a quick guy, I’m using power.
And at some point in time, it really just turns into whatever I feel like.
Because at the end of the day, I’m dictating what he’s going to do, not the
other way around.”
Jordan is a savage on the gridiron, so it’s only fitting
that he lines up on every down with Nike’s Force Savage cleats on his feet.
“The Force Savage is clean and it’s the definitive line of
comfort,” Jordan said. “You can actually sprint and plant and aren’t afraid to
fall out of the shoe.”
As a 6 foot, 230-pound athlete with equally ridiculous speed and power, Saquon Barkley is primed to be one of the league’s most exciting tailbacks from the first handoff he takes on September 9 against Jacksonville. We got a chance to sit down with the rookie sensation to cover his journey to stardom and how he is ready to seize the spotlight in the Big Apple.
From Starting In High School
Q: Let’s flash back to your time at Whitehall (PA) High School. You dominated there and seemed to make a major jump between your sophomore and junior year. How were you able to take your game to the next level?
A: The biggest reason I jumped from my sophomore to my junior year was my change in mindset. I made it up in my mind that I wanted to play college football, and once I did that, that’s when the work ethic improved. I started to push myself in the weight room and in conditioning. Even off the field, I started doing better in school. I just started challenging myself every day, and once I did that, everything on the field took care of itself.
Q: Despite dominating, ESPN had you ranked as 24 th best running back. Did you use that as motivation? How did that impact your season and what you were looking to do?
A: Actually, at one point I was ranked 60 th . Coming into Nike The Opening (in 2014), I was ranked the 60th best running back in the country. But that just made me want to prove a point. When I got to the Opening and competed against some of the top guys, I did really well. That helped me get to the top level and boost me to that 24 th spot. And I carried that motivation into college. I wanted to prove to those teams that didn’t offer me that they made a mistake.
To Growing In College
Q: So you make it to Penn State, but you weren’t the lead back right away. How were you able to stay ready for your chance and continue to grow as a player?
A: That was all about continuing to challenge myself. When I got to Penn State, I didn’t say ‘I want to be the starter right away.’ We had an established guy and I just wanted to learn from him. I just wanted to play as a freshman and I was going to do whatever I could to play. If that meant playing special teams or being on the scout team — I was going to do that. I carried that approach into the weight room. As my numbers in the weight room continued to grow, I got faster and better on the football field.
Q: Looking back on your time at Penn State, what made it the perfect spot for you?
A: I was actually originally committed to a different college. They offered me off of my JV highlight tape and based on my potential. I committed on spot, but the decision to flip to Penn State actually wasn’t just about football. Obviously, Penn State football is amazing and a great opportunity, but I also felt like Penn State gave me a better chance after football. I envisioned myself being here (in the pros), but you have to think ‘what if?’ A Penn State education takes you a long way.
To Being Ready For The Pros
Q: Now it’s time for the pro game – how have you stepped up your training to get ready for your rookie season?
A: Something I started changing about my work habits this offseason is that it’s not so much about how much you can lift, but now, it’s about longevity. You’ve got to keep your body healthy. I’ve been working on my speed and explosion, and making sure that what I’m doing in the weight room transitions onto the football field.
Q: Take us back to draft day, when you got that phone call from New York. What was that moment like?
A: A lot of people think you know where you’re going before you get that call, and you actually have no idea. When I got that call, it was special because of the people that were at the table with me – my mom and my dad on my left, my brothers and sisters, my agents, my high school coaches. These were all the people that really cared and mattered in my life. My mom and dad worked so hard to help me get to that point. Having them there made it 10 times more special.
Are you Team Vapor, Team Alpha, or Team Force? Nike football has three different cleat lines for three different types of players. We got a chance to talk to Tyler Luckey, a Nike Football Product Line Manger, to break down how the Vapor is perfect for speed players, Alpha is perfect for elusive players, and Force is perfect for powerful players. Check it out below: