FULTONDALE, AL (WBRC) - Although it's been five years since ArDarius Stewart has put on a Fultondale uniform, he's still impacting his former team on the field.
"He called me and said coach I want to do something for the kids, I want them to have the best possible equipment we can get on them and I want to show that they can do anything out of Fultondale," said Fultondale head football coach Richie Busby.
The former Alabama football star, who was drafted in the third round by the New York Jets back in April, surprised his old high school, the Fultondale Wildcats, Tuesday with new, top-of-the-line football helmets.
"You know I'm a physical player so the helmet is the most important part of the game so I had to make sure these guys are set and very protected now with these helmets. We just got them and I expect to see a lot of physicality and hitting," ArDarius Stewart said.
The Wildcats are the first team in Alabama to have the Schutt F-7 helmet, a helmet that will debut in the NFL this fall. "It's supposedly the safest helmet on the market at this time and I'm excited that we have this opportunity to wear them" Busby added.
Stewart donated $15,000 to buy 50 helmets for the entire team.
"This school is very important to me, no one does anything for Fultondale but Fultondale and the Fultondale community and I'm part of this community and I just wanted to show them I'm standing strong with them," Stewart said.
But with the new helmets comes a lot of pressure for this year's Fultondale team.
"With these new helmets, we'll go out with a new swag, like ArDarius said, you can't look good and go out and get beat so now that we look good, we have to play even better," said senior linebacker Joshua Stanton.
The Wildcats will debut their new helmets in their season opener against Tarrant on August 31.