Some of the decisions on whether to redshirt certain Georgia Tech players won’t be made for several weeks.
Coach Paul Johnson said it’s hard to tell before the games are even being played because there are many factors that go into he and the assistant coaches’ decision-making process.
Aside from playing those who can help the team win, injuries and a lack of productivity can obviously affect which true freshmen play and which sit out for a season.
During the past two seasons, Johnson’s first two at Tech, 14 true freshmen have played:
This season, several more true freshmen should play: Isaiah Johnson, B.J. Bostic, Jeremiah Attaochu and Louis Young, for example. It is a big freshmen class, with 26 first-years on the roster.
Johnson said that when they make the decision, he takes the recommendation from the assistant coach for that position, and then he’ll talk with the player and their parents.
Coaches would almost always prefer to redshirt freshmen, saying a fifth-year senior is more valuable than a true freshman.
Seniors on the team have seen many players be told that they are going to be redshirted. They said some players take it well, and some are discouraged, but only for a short time.
“Sometimes you have to tell them it’s going to be all right,” said Mario Butler, who didn’t redshirt. “Sometimes they take it hard. I tell them everything happens for a reason and four or five years from now they’ll look back and say ‘that was the best situation I could have been in.’ ”
Many players use the time to improve their strength and conditioning. Offensive lineman Will Jackson redshirted last season and spent the year getting stronger, leaner, and more familiar with the playbook. He should start at guard on Saturday.
“Nothing wrong with a redshirt,” linebacker Brad Jefferson said. “Some players, when they come in they are ready for the college atmosphere. [Others] This is their chance to get faster, stronger, bigger and get ready for the next season.”