One week ago, NCAA made a significant change to its rules regarding redshirting. Previously, should a player appear on the field for even one snap in one game, they lost an entire season of eligibility.
The new rules, however, allow a player to play in up to four games through the season. Even then, that year would be a redshirt year.
Players and coaches will welcome the change of rules since it allows for more roster flexibility. It also gives the chance to have younger players on the field earlier than before with no eligibility consequences.
Another aspect of the rule, however, is make redshirting a player much simpler. Even so, Urban Meyer and Ohio State need to watch how many redshirts they give. While it can be helpful in certain aspects, there are downsides should it happen in excess; especially at places like Ohio State.
Redshirting Can be Both Beneficial and Dangerous Depending on How it is Done
One issue is that even the best at Ohio State hardly ever seem to stay where they are for five years as is. Therefore, redshirting the players wastes a season they could be on the field. Even if it’s only to help the team on special teams or allowing playing time at the end of the games in garbage time, it’s an issue.
Players like Eli Apple, Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker, Gareon Conley, and Darron Lee, redshirted their first seasons. However, they did not use all five seasons of their eligibility. Therefore, the redshirt year was a waste of a season.
While that’s a problem, it’s not the main one due to excess redshirts since most of the players were buried on the roster as was.
The main issue is that redshirt players are never good enough to crack the starting lineup. That player then takes up a scholarship for another season, a problem Ohio State deals with on a regular basis.
Urban Meyer said the freshman probably won’t be there five years from now, back in 2016. Should they still be here in that time, its likely they got bypassed.
Of course, there are benefits to redshirting as well. If done to quarterbacks and offensive linemen, it’s a good thing as both are likely to stay around for most or all of their eligibility.
While the new rules for redshirting can help, there is much possibility it could be simple to redshirt too many players. The Buckeyes, in particular, need to watch out for this rule change.