Utah Utes honor deceased players Aaron Lowe and Ty Jordan with custom helmets

The Utah Utes are honoring late players Aaron Lowe and Ty Jordan with custom helmets this season.

Lowe was a sophomore cornerback who was killed during a shooting at a Salt Lake City house party on Sept. 26, 2021. Jordan, a running back and 2020 Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, died on Christmas Day 2020, the result of an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"It brought us together in a way that I don't know what could have been more powerful," Coach Kyle Whittingham said last year. "It unified us and gave us all a cause. Not that you need that to have a good football team, but that really sparked us and really gave everybody a common denominator to play for."

Last season the team paid tribute to the best friends by honoring their shared number -- No. 22 -- with a mantra "Be 22% better" and by making them the first players in program history to have their number retired.

During its Oct. 15 game against USC, the team will continue to recognize the duo by debuting its "#22forever" hand-painted helmets that feature portraits of Lowe and Jordan on both sides.

The helmets will be worn almost exactly a year after the team upset USC 42-26 to begin a 9-1 run in the Pac-12 that led to a conference title and Rose Bowl appearance.