AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Carter Hogg saw his brother’s football career end from a concussion injury, and witnessed first-hand the effects that a concussion had on his life.

Now, he’s decided to tackle the issue by developing a device that in rigorous testing, has shown to reduce concussions by more than 60%.

It’s called GR8R Skin and can be worn under the players helmet.

“It’s a balaclava or ski mask that comes down over your shoulders and the front end back your chest and your upper back,” said Hogg, the creator of the GR8R Skin mask.

It’s purpose is to protect the brains of athletes in contact sports like football.

“What it does is when you take a collision to the head, it redistributes the energy of that collision, and in doing so, not only does it reduce the force belt on your like your head by that collision, but it also stabilizes your neck, allowing your head not to move as rapidly or as far,” Hogg explained.

Hogg is a safety on the Johns Hopkins University football team. He told that GR8R Skin reduces the risk of concussion because it limits the accelerations of the head.

Hogg said it took about eight months from the time of concept to development of the product, followed by rigorous testing at the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab in Blacksburg, Virginia, where they test every type of helmet under the sun.

“We brought it through all those tests series, which essentially amounts to four different collision sites, a front aside a back and an offset from boss collision right here on the top of your head,” noted Hogg. “What it does is we basically track the accelerations of the head using accelerometers embedded in the actual testing helmet. We ran it through that test series and that’s where we’re getting all of our data from.”

Jay Brunetti is the Equipment Director for the San Francisco 49ers, and told KAMR Local 4 News that he joined the advisory board for the product because it can be used across multiple contact sports like hockey and lacrosse.

“Everything in our bodies are interconnected,” said Brunetti, who’s in his sixth season with the 49ers. “It’s not just the skull, not just the brain, but it’s obviously the neck and the spine, spinal cord, you know, down the upper back, too. So that’s where I think this is gonna have a huge benefit for the athletes, not just in football, but in any contact sport or helmeted sport.”

Brunetti said the materials used in the GR8R Skin product gives an extra layer of protection, something that leagues and teams, from high school to the NFL, are already moving towards. For example, the Guardian Caps many players are already wearing during practice and training camps.

“This particular head cover is made of multiple materials, and it dissipates the energy a lot more than the other cover that they’re wearing,” said Dr. Vanessa Fiaud, an Associate Professor in the Sports and Exercise Science Department at West Texas A&M University. “And so it is more effective in in practice.”

She said the difference between the two devices is in the details. 

“The main difference is the material that is made off and then how those material are organized on the on the shell on the cover of the head,” Fiaud told KAMR. “And it it results in a much better dissipation of the energy that is transferred through the helmet.”

Brunetti said his hope is that sometime in the future, the NFL will test out the product with players.   

“We’re trying to, you know, protect the players, you know, brains for long term and short term, obviously, I look at also the bigger picture, which is, you know, life after football, you want to have a good quality of life,” he said.

Brunetti explained that it’s a personal mission of his to see his players have a healthy quality of life both in their playing days and after they hang up their cleats.

He and Dr. Fiaud both told us that anything to make athletes safer is a step in the right direction.

Improving players health, safety and lives both on and off the field.

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