Trooper Towels Taylor-made by local students

Fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers have their Terrible Towels to wave in support of the team during a game.

Now, thanks to two local entrepreneurial Auburn University students, the Tigers have their own version – the Trooper Towel.

Inspired by assistant head coach and wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor’s use of a white towel to pump up his players during a game, 2005 Pelham graduate Daniel Dreher, 2006 Briarwood Christian School graduate Hunter Harris and Nashville native Rob Silverii came up with the idea during the season opener against Louisiana Tech.

During the game, Dreher mentioned to Harris and Silverii that he wanted to bring a towel to wave during the next game, just like Taylor, and after throwing several ideas around, Harris said, “Let’s sell Trooper Towels.”

And thus the idea began.

The three Auburn students approached the coach before the second week of the season, and the idea took off from there.

“He thought it was a great idea,” Dreher said.

In fact, instead of the coach making a profit off the venture, portions of the proceeds will go to a charity of Taylor’s choice at the end of the season.

“He’s just been so supportive,” Dreher said.

But the three don’t see their idea as a business.

To them, it’s just a bunch of guys who are rallying around their team.

“We don’t want to come across as a business,” Dreher said. “We want to come across as a bunch of students and fans who are about the game. One of our goals is to get behind the coaches, players and the Auburn family.”

The fans have definitely gotten behind the idea, buying all 150 towels the three printed up the Friday before the Mississippi State game, and more than 3,000 the next week before the West Virginia game.

Within a week, bookstores and clothing stores from Auburn to the Riverchase Galleria and the Summit were buying the towels to sell in their stores.

The towel craze really took off during the Mississippi State game when the jumbotron at Jordan-Hare Stadium showed fans waving the towels many times throughout the night.

“It just caught on,” Dreher said. “It was like a free commercial.”

However, Dreher admitted the torrential rain before the West Virginia game didn’t hurt.

“People weren’t really waving them that night, so that they didn’t sling water all over the place,” Dreher said with a laugh. “One lady even bought five so they could wipe the water off their seats.”

The trend continued Saturday as even more fans bought and waved the towels during the Tigers’ victory over Ball State.

“One of the neatest things is to see there are more and more towels each week and that we had a part in making it happen,” Dreher said.

The three have even established a Web site – TrooperTowels.com – where the towels can be purchased.

“It’s just been growing,” Dreher said.