ORANGEBURG, S.C. (August 23, 2023) – It’s big. It’s bold. It’s got Bulldog bite.

It’s a rolling billboard that will take South Carolina State University’s message around the United States.

SC State’s Department of Athletics unveiled its newly acquired Bulldogs-themed football equipment trailer on Wednesday in a ceremony on campus. The stunning 53-foot trailer will be used to haul the Bulldogs’ equipment to away games.

“This is about elevating our brand. It’s about elevating our university,” SC State President Alexander Conyers said at the unveiling. “When our team is traveling, we will no doubt run into alums and students across the country. (The trailer) reignites that love for South Carolina State University and makes them feel a sense of pride when they see this truck rolling down Interstate 26, 95, 20 — you name it.”

Nicknamed “Diesel,” the trailer will haul all of head football Coach Buddy Pough’s “toys” — uniforms, pads, helmets, hydration stations and fluids, trainer supplies, cold tubs, large fans to keep players cool on the sidelines, golf carts and other items necessary for the Bulldogs to compete at away venues.

“That’s called vision coming true,” SC State Acting Athletics Director Keshia Campbell said as she pointed to the trailer behind her at the unveiling.

Campbell said that vision came from her classmate, Robert Porcher, a retired National Football League player who spent 13 standout seasons as a defensive lineman for the Detroit Lions after graduating from SC State in 1992.

Porcher said the football team had been traveling with a 24-foot box truck, which limited what the Bulldogs could take with them to away games. Porcher, whose post-NFL career is in the transportation business, got the idea for the Bulldogs trailer after seeing another school’s trailer at a Bulldogs home game – albeit one with a far less spectacular design.

That’s where SC State’s athletics and marketing staffs took the ball and ran with it.

The striking wraps adorning the trailer on all sides were produced by SC State Graphics Manager Dana Millen, whom speakers repeatedly lauded throughout the unveiling ceremony.

Porcher said the tractor-trailer created such a stir on I-26 on the trip from Charleston on Wednesday that a number of vehicles were slowing down to get a better look.

“It was obvious they were taking pictures because a couple of pickup trucks were speeding up 26, and then all of a sudden for about 2 miles they were riding on the side of the trailer,” Porcher said.

The largest element is the phrase “Bulldog Tenacity” — the phrase commonly used to describe what SC State instills in graduates – emblazed on the driver’s side with the Bulldogs athletics logo. Travelers behind the trailer will be warned to “Fear the Bite,” which is the Bulldogs athletics tagline.

The driver’s side also features SC State’s four members of the NFL Hall of Fame: Marion Motley, Deacon Jones, Harry Carson and Donnie Shell. Shell, the most recent inductee and a former member of the SC State Board of Trustees, also delivered remarks at Wednesday’s unveiling.

“This expresses what SC State is,” Shell said. “As President Conyers always says, wherever you want to go, you can start at SC State – whatever you want to be in life. That’s what I am encouraged about with this.”

The $27,000 project was made possible by a gift from the SC State Class of 1973, several members of which attended the unveiling ceremony. Rodney Jenkins, a member of SC State’s Board of Trustees, represented the class in the ceremony.

“Our beloved university is one body with many working parts,” Jenkins said, borrowing a phrase from the Bible. “The Class of ’73 is simply one of many working parts of our beloved university.

“Our gifts, like all gifts, are blessings upon the entire university family,” he said. “We are loyal sons and daughters, ready all to do and dare.”

In keeping with that spirit of giving back to the university, the trailer also includes a QR code linked to the Bulldogs athletics webpage where visitors can learn about how to support SC State’s teams.

“Diesel” will make its official debut en route to the Bulldogs’ clash with Jackson State in the Cricket MEAC-SWAC Challenge in Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, Aug. 26. The game will air on ABC at 7:30 p.m.

“The way our team moves and how we move is important,” Campbell said in her concluding remarks.