I saw in the video of practice today? I’m guessing some sort of extra concussion precaution?
Bingo. Bielema said he noticed them when he visited Clemson in the spring.
The first time I saw them was at a Bentonville football practice around 2011 or 2012. They’ve been around for a while.
The padded helmets have less slip in helmet to helmet hits so they can be a problem for non-lineman. I think they are great for Lineman because they have less open field tackling. The pad covers have less slip so the helmet with the most stability can tug the other helmet if a player lowers their head for contact like you see in open field tackling.