How New Redshirt Rule Would Affect Oklahoma State

Written by Kyle Porter

There is a future college football world that exists in which we could see freshmen play up to four games and keep their redshirts. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. The rule, pending confirmation and implementation, is a semi-response to players like Leonard Fournette and Christian “Ben Grogan benches more than me” McCaffrey skipping bowl games.

Here’s Stewart Mandel of Fox Sports.

The American Football Coaches Association is forwarding a proposal to the NCAA that would allow players to participate in up to four games of a season without burning their redshirt year. If passed, theoretically, a coach could unleash his touted four-star freshman running back in the TaxSlayer Bowl.

“I think that would be pretty intriguing to some of the fan bases,” said AFCA executive director Todd Berry, “which might legitimize some of those bowl games and make them more interesting. [Fox Sports]

I’m all in on this. Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy often talks about how you don’t really know what you have in a player until the lights are turned on. Problem is, once you turn those lights on and put a guy in, his redshirt is gone.

This is especially true of a place like OSU that is reticent to hit in practice and collects so much of its evaluation and knowledge from actual games. Some spillover benefits including me not having to sift through all 45,232 pages of the NCAA rule book to see if Dillon Stoner is eligible for a redshirt and being able to play freshmen at the end of the year (when they’re not really freshmen anymore) if starters get injured.

Ahem, it probably wouldn’t matter because he’s leaving for the NFL anyway, but Mason Rudolph would still have two years of eligibility left. Can you imagine?!

“We really haven’t addressed the redshirt rule in quite some time,” Dana Holgorsen told Fox Sports. “We’re playing way more games than we used to — there used to be a 10-game season. They’re looking at it, and I would support it.”

I don’t think Dana is alone here.

  • Jayce Hancock

    If this rule was in place a few years ago, Rudolph would be a junior this season correct? LORD HAVE MERCY

    • spokepokes

      Well, FWIW he still probably would have gone to the league either way.

    • RyanO

      Yes. I was thinking the same thing as I read the article, and then KP pointed it out. He would more than likely leave after this year for the NFL anyways, but my oh my. It makes me weak thinking he could play 2 more years for us.

    • Adam M.

      More important than Mason sticking around another year (he wouldn’t anyway), it would be great to allow the young QBs to take reps and still redshirt. With as much promise this season shows, some of these upcoming games where we destroy would be a perfect scenario to toss them out there. To see how they fare against defenders who haven’t figured out their every move already (see Spring Game) would be refreshing, and perhaps more revealing of their ability in a true game environment.

  • BBinKC

    If I understand the new rule correctly, I would think a good strategy, with any freshman who is not a day one starter or superstar in the making, would be to hold them out until the last four games of the year, let them learn the system, get aclimated to the speed of the game in practice, and then cut them loose without burning a year of eligibility.

    • SeattlePoke

      True in some cases, but also those last four games of the year are hopefully more important than the first few so better to get them playing time in the early worthless non-com games. If my starters are healthy I don’t want the new guys out there in final conference game/conf championship/playoff/bowl game. I want them to cut their teeth on South Alabama

      • BBinKC

        Agreed. If we plan to use a year of eligibility, then we need to get them in early. I am talking about getting them some action without burning a year of eligibility. If we don’t think they are ready early we can evaluate them as the season goes, then if we feel they are up to the task, we can get them some PT at the end without burning a year of eligibility. Two of our last three this year are Iowa State and Kansas.

      • Chris

        You’ll see more conferences start to schedule a Nov non-conf game like the SEC does. Which would be smart if this new rule goes into effect.

        • Phillycowboy

          I already think the way the SEC schedules is smart. They have games that matter sooner than other leagues – so all the hype and analyst talk is yours. Then you get an easy win/almost a bye week in November.

  • Phillycowboy

    What people aren’t thinking about is what will the drawback be? If we use the argument/logic of the early signing period being a good thing for OSU because it is bad for Bama/Michigan/A&M, Saban has already come out and said he is all for it. So, how could something that is good for Bama be bad for OSU? Think about the depth that they could accumulate promising early playing time. That is one of the huge advantages a place like OSU has is that we can offer playing time for any elite prospect. They can’t do that at Bama, until now that they can play any of their new recruits as freshmen for four games to attract them with playing time and still get the same benefit, as not having played them.