Because it is moving up to the FBS level, Georgia State isn’t eligible to compete in the FCS playoffs this year, nor is it eligible to play in bowls in the 2013-14 season.
That’s two seasons with no possibility of postseason rewards for the Panthers’ players.
With that in mind, I asked coach Bill Curry if that will affect how he decides which players will redshirt this year.
“It will not,” he said. “It will strictly be, with us and our numbers, it will strictly be a roll of the dice.
“Like with Ben McLane last year, we came inches from having to play him and there were other guys that we did have to play. This year will be the same thing. It will just be a matter of if we need them to go win a game.
“When you’re down to one [back-up], you can no longer think about redshirting, so that doesn’t remain a priority.
“Where possible, we have some really good young talent that we normally, if we don’t lose three guys at their position, [will redshirt] and three years from now they’ll be really good and by the time they are in their fifth year they will be great players.
Curry said there’s no timetable on when he will decide which players get redshirted.
“We look at the guy,” he said. “If it’s obvious, we would like to hold him out. In this business, the fact that you do have to practice hard, we could be playing him by the second game.
“When there’s issues that you thought someone was going to be really reliable and he’s not coming around, and there’s a true freshman that’s better than he is, he plays.”
Here are the true freshmen who will likely play this year, which means they won’t be redshirted:
DT Joe Lockley: Already the strongest player on the team, he has shown the potential to be the anchor in the middle of the defensive line.
DE Melvin King: He has made plays during scrimmages, including several sacks.
WR/KR Avery Sweeting: Might be the second-fastest player on the team. He’s small (listed at 150 pounds), though.
C Mark Ruskell: The offensive line needs depth.
LS Justin Forrester: The position battle is wide open.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu