To redshirt or not to redshirt?

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:


Julian Burnett

Izaan Cross

Stephen Hill

Tyler Morgan

Orwin Smith

Rod Sweeting

Jemea Thomas


Tyler Melton

Embry Peeples

Rashaad Reid

Jaybo Shaw

Steven Sylvester

Cooper Taylor

Marcus Wright

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.”

30 comments Add your comment


September 1st, 2010
3:14 pm

Wash-Out Early

September 1st, 2010
3:14 pm

I should have Red-Shirted last year… then I could have gotten my drivers license.

5150 P.O.A.D

September 1st, 2010
3:14 pm

We are talking TEAM! If you want to be vaulable to your TEAM then do what is needed.

GT Alum

September 1st, 2010
3:20 pm

Brad’s exactly right – there’s nothing wrong with redshirting. Not only does it allow your body another year to develop (and a year can make a huge difference at that age) and give you more time to adjust to college football and learn your role on this team, but it also gives you time to get used to balancing your class load with your football load, and go through the normal adjustments of being a college freshman (which are tough enough without playing football). You’ll likely have a better college career because of it.

Actually, it cannot hurt...

September 1st, 2010
3:23 pm

…look at one of the most famous of the Rhino clan – Randy – three time All-American, and was only allowed to play 3 years because his freshman class (1971) was the last where freshmen were not eligible.

Think he might have been as good if he had been thrown out there as a true freshman? Or on the other hand, he might have been the first 4 time AA had he been given that extra year…

5150 P.O.A.D

September 1st, 2010
3:25 pm

I like the redshirt for many incoming freshmen. If they enroll early then they get a chance to learn the playbook faster, but theyreally don’t get the full academic side of Tech. I like the players to work hard on the field, in the weightroom, but most of all in the classroom. We all have seen the stats on the # of college players that make a living playing pro ball and it is not good. If the Player is ready for the Game then let him play, but if he can’t handle the WHOLE Tech package of Playing and Classes then let him sit and learn a year. After Marshall made it made it easy to play all freshman then the landscape of collegeball changed. I do miss the Shriners Hospital Baby Jacket v Bull Pup game on Thanksgiving day. Now people wouldn’t attend with too many other options for the sports dollar, but it was fun watching the JV teams play and a charity get some money.

GT Sambo

September 1st, 2010
3:32 pm

I think RS is particularly important for DL and OL. It allows their bodies to fill out, for them to get stronger, if necessary. I read a story about Emanuel Dieke, who enrolled in January 2009, the kid RS last year and went from 210 to 270! (Now granted, the guys is 6′6″, but still)

destin dawg

September 1st, 2010
3:35 pm

I liked old rule ( before 1971 )… freshman need a year to adjust to college, make grades, mature as student/athletes.. school comes 1st.. JV games were good… Go Dawgs !!!!

GT Sambo

September 1st, 2010
3:35 pm

In case you didn’t figure it out from what I wrote, Dieke is a DE, and he is going to be in the rotation according to CPJ.


September 1st, 2010
3:43 pm

And it gives these new students some time to get used to the academic rigor of college. For most, redshirting is the best decision.


September 1st, 2010
3:45 pm

destin dawg – I agree with all but the “Go Dawgs” part.


September 1st, 2010
3:48 pm

Alow Frosh, R-Frosh & Soph to play on JV teams. let them play on game day against same team, but only conf schedule to ease up the load.


September 1st, 2010
3:51 pm

GT Sambo….is that correct, added 60 lbs in 18 mons? Hard to imagine!

If a player bithches about being redshirted he should have gone to Fla. He could have fit in with those prima donna’s.

Delbert D.

September 1st, 2010
3:52 pm

Georgia Tech has pretty good depth this year. Some of these that redshirt this year will be needed next year due to graduation losses, and they will be much more capable as GT Sambo said.

GT Thunder

September 1st, 2010
4:23 pm

Been following GT a long time.

One thing I can say for sure:

Our coaching staff is absolutley BAD AZZ!!

This is by far the strongest coaching staff roster
at GT than I’ve seen in a very very long time.

And you can see the players attitudes
are starting to reflect it.

Better hide the women & children because
the 2010 Jackets are do some serious azz-kicking.

Alabama Jack

September 1st, 2010
4:31 pm

Damn, for the first time ever, I agree with you Destin Dawg. In particular the old Tech-UGA freshman game every Thanksgiving. That was fun and for a good cause. Oh yeah, No Go dawgs.


September 1st, 2010
4:34 pm

Gailey wasted nesbitts freshman year by letting him come in and run one series per half for the whole season. All 3 plays were qb draws from the shotgun. What an idiot. Thank God and greyhound that moron is gone forever. Just think about it, if chan wouldve redshirted Nesbitt then he’d be a jr this year. Wow!
Thanks for screwing us chan.
M- where are you? I miss your Gailey bashing


September 1st, 2010
4:40 pm

Don’t worry about somebody coming on here and saying “Go Dogs”. My answer to that is the same response to the question- “What’s the good word?” “THWG” is the good word! So when someone says “go dogs”, I respond with “you know where they can go….”

GT Sambo

September 1st, 2010
4:52 pm

I’ll do some serious Gailey bashing. He ran a pro style offense, but hardly ever had the QB talent to run it effectively. Everyone says he was this great recruiter, but he actually had only one good recruiting class (2007). CPJ has already recruited better overall talent to the Flats that Chan did.

5150 P.O.A.D

September 1st, 2010
5:00 pm

Alabama Jack I brought up the JV game and the Shriners Hospital first. Destin just was a great dawg fan to enjoy the game too. Destin you know I have to give you some crap. AHHAHA. We do have some good back-n0forth blog conversations. I thought the dawgs would have a hard game against USCeast but with what is happening up there now I think Richt should suspend Ealey make all the haters happy(me included) and UGA can still win by 10.

5150 P.O.A.D

September 1st, 2010
5:06 pm

MarineJacket after you say THWG I will respond with U on a Dawg. Sorry but I hate the dawgs that much. I do my best to not say in around Children fans of either team.
Thanks for being a SAND FLEA. and now matter the team blogger back i am 100% confident we all back all USMC’s.

Paul in RDU

September 1st, 2010
5:39 pm

I like CPJ’s comment that after talking to the position coaches about redshirting, he discusses the issue with the player and their parents. It is a big deal to them and that’s the right way to do it.
I also think that redshirting is in the best interests of most football players at most Div 1 schools. Adjusting to college academics is tough enough without all of the time and effort required to play FB.
The player and the team can benefit.


September 1st, 2010
5:52 pm

Its a well known fact that Ugag likes to redshirt kids to get them thru a year of remedial courses so their recruits can then handle their joke freshman level classes in cupcake majors, like their infamous “Housing” degree.

Please. What a joke.

Damon Evans

September 1st, 2010
6:05 pm

Martinis and IMAX, anyone?

GT Thunder

September 1st, 2010
6:13 pm

Its well known around the GT faithful that D-Rad told Gailey in August 2007, BEFORE the season even started, that Gailey was out at end of that season.

Word leaked to CBS Sportswriter Dennis Dodd, and thats why Gailey cussed out Dodd at their College Fooball meeting. Dodd wrote about the encounter with Gailey on his CBS website.

Hell, the whole freaking world knew Gailey was getting
fired at season end.

Its common knowledge among the Tech faithful that Gailey deliberately burned the redshirts on Nesbitt and Dwyer in 2007 because he was pissed off that he was getting fired at season end.

Gailey did not want his replacement to benefit long from these 2 stud recruits of his.

Braine convined Gailey that 7 wins was acceptable performance.
Braine tried to convince the Tech faithful that 7 wins was the most to expect and the Tech faithful responded with a resounding “EF-U” and told him to hit the road.

Braine re-wrote Gailey’s contract (that Tech is still paying for) in mid-season 2006, which came right after Tech boosters told Braine to take a hike.

Braine deliberately re-wrote a 4 year contract for Gailey mid-season 2006, because he was pissed off because he being kicked out on December 31, 2006.

Also, Braine wrote GT BBall HC Paul Hewitt’s “Lifetime Contract.”

A team of Russian spies could not have done more damage the entire GT program than Dave Braine.

GT Sambo

September 1st, 2010
9:30 pm

GT Thunder,
I have a hard time believing that a multi-million contract can be approved by a single individual. GT administrators entered into Paul Hewitt’s contact with eyes wide open. They believed they had to pay up to keep him at the time. As far as Gailey’s contract, the language their seemed pretty standard. Virtually all coaches have contracts that extend years past their current employment, if they didn’t it would be a disadvantage in recruiting. I think Chan’s contract had an automatic renewal clause in it if he went to a bowl game, which, depending on exactly how it was worded, probably makes sense for both sides. This made it look like GT renewed his contract right before they fired him.


September 1st, 2010
9:56 pm

I’m sure all these Tech players wished they could be Redshirted as in UGA red…

Tech Ex

September 2nd, 2010
9:30 am

Believe it, Sambo. It was rubber stamped by admin. Gailey’s contract was anything but standard nor is Hewitt’s. Compare CPJ’s contract with Gailey’s and Paul, “did you say something negative about me?” Hewitt’s and you will see that CPJs contract gives Tech some protection whereas Braine’s idiocy is evident in Hewitt’s and Gailey’s contacts. Thank God for CPJ and DRAD.


September 2nd, 2010
11:06 am

…”into his and ….” Come on! You are talking about a higher education topic. Let’s at least see some elementary school grammar.

Ace of Gold

September 2nd, 2010
2:37 pm

Win more than seven………… PLUS BEAT GEORGIA…!!!!!!!!!!!!