ESD Alum’s Invention Promotes Contact Sports Safety

G8RSkin PPE reduces concussion probability in football by almost 60%

F.J. Hogg doesn’t remember suiting up as a linebacker for Washington and Lee University in the conference championship game in January 2022 — the day he suffered a career-ending concussion.

The emotional trauma resonated with his younger brother, Carter, then a senior at Episcopal School of Dallas — also preparing for a future in college football.

“Seeing him go through the symptoms and the aftermath was difficult,” Carter Hogg said. “It took him a full year for him to get back to where he was.”

With such a widespread issue — player safety in contact sports — hitting so close to home, Carter started working on a solution.

G8RSkin PPE, a balaclava-like shell used under helmets, is designed to reduce the potential for concussions. Photo: Damion Lloyd

A year later, he launched G8RSkin PPE, a balaclava-like shell used under helmets. Resembling a ski mask in appearance, it fits over an athlete’s shoulders and neck and underneath a uniform. Designed to nullify head impact by using the energy of a collision to provide neck stability, the device has been shown in testing to reduce concussion probability by almost 60%.

“You don’t notice it, but it provides impact protection and other benefits that a normal garment doesn’t provide,” Hogg said. “There are other devices with the same aim of reducing concussions. But the issues are with appearance, so they are not getting worn in games, and only in practice. This has no effect on the appearance of the player.”

Hogg, now a sophomore defensive back at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, is following in the entrepreneurial footsteps of his grandfather — inventor of the debit card — and his father, Jason, who holds more than 60 technology patents for cybersecurity and payment processing products.

“From a young age, he’s instilled that mindset of creative thinking and inventorship,” Hogg said of his father. “He always encouraged us to think outside the box.”

The idea came to fruition quickly, with the first prototype tested at the renowned Virginia Tech Helmet Lab earlier this year. That revealed a significant decrease in concussion risk based on reductions in both peak linear acceleration and peak rotational acceleration.

Hogg said the benefits extend to other sports, such as hockey, lacrosse, and skiing. Response has been enthusiastic based on preorders on the G8RSkin website, and he’s been in discussions with teams who hope to use it during the upcoming football season. 

“It’s been amazing,” he said. “Every parent and player is interested in having the best protection out there.”

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