This morning, Travis and I were discussing Coach Brohm’s recent comments on how he is excited for the youth and depth of the defense.
Upon further review, Travis and I are not as excited with Defensive End Depth and Linebacker Depth. With the dismissal of TJ Jallow, the linebacker depth is very thin - to the point where freshman and walk-ons may have to play serious time if there are injuries.
Hell, since we still do not have an updated roster, Travis though Rob Simmons was still on the team and would help us at defensive end.
Anyway, this all wrapped into me explaining the new redshirt rule and how it will benefit us tremendously, this year.
Sports Illustrated described the new redshirt rule as such,
“NCAA amends the redshirt rule to allow players to play in up to four games per year without losing a season of eligibility. Division I college football players will now be able to play in up to four games per season without using a season of eligibility.”
Now, the keys is up to four games.
That doesn’t mean four straight games at the start or the end. Coach Brohm will have the power to manipulate the system and use the four games when he deems them necessary. Say, if there was injury at linebacker at defensive end - here comes a player that could play just the one up coming game and Coach could save the three other games for later on.
This could have been helpful late in the season after David Blough was injured and Sindelar was banged up. Nick Sipe could have played and not burnt his redshirt.
So, lets use incoming freshman linebacker, Jaylan Alexander for example. Right now, there are four linebackers, maybe five, ahead of him to fill three positions. Those being Markus Bailey, Tobias Larry, Jonah Williams, Derrick Barnes and Cornel Jones.
If two of them were to go down for a couple weeks, Coach Brohm could use Alexander as a filler, without burning his redshirt at all. All still while gaining experience.
That is the key here, experience, injury or not, this allows Purdue and every other college in the NCAA to use freshman to gain experience. Unless they are must play guys like, uh, Rondale Moore, this allows players to be used on special teams as freshman, get reps in blowouts, play if guys are hurt and not ruin them.
It allows players to be developed for 8 games, then can play the last four once they are ready and still have freshman eligibility the following year.
Really, it helps us tremendously. Coach Brohm pretty much worked a miracle last season, but in the coming years, we will see the lack of depth that was created by the previous staff. Most will leave or transfer because the writing is on the wall, Brohm will play his guys. Then our depth will mostly be freshmen and sophomores.
This allows these freshmen and sophomores to gain in game experience early in the year their first year on campus and get real film on what they need to improve on, not just practice filmm
One player that comes to mind who could have used this rule many years ago was Danny Etling. As a freshman, he came in and took over and offense that was in shambles. The offensive line was terrible and he was constantly getting hit, causing him to be gun shy.
He could have played those four games, got that experience and come back stronger the following year. Instead, he lost a year of eligibility, and was gun shy the next year, eventually being pulled for Austin Appleby. Etling is now in the NFL, drafted by the Patriots, but I do believe his college career could have been different.
Overall, do we like this rule? I think yes. With the need to develop this incoming freshman class, I think it is important to get these guys reps that they need in the game. Especially at some skill positions.
Late in the season, after players have been developed and there are injuries, these freshman will be able to play and there won’t be such a huge void in talent. Where I think we will see the most improvement is on special teams, where freshman will be able to be rotated.
This rule isn’t just for freshman though, it applies to anyone who has not been redshirted in the NCAA career. My initial thought is at kicker, Dellinger a junior could play in four games, but redshirt and have two years left of football, where as Spencer Evans will run out of eligibility at the end of this season.
However it goes, I am interested in seeing how college football coaches will handle the rule throughout the season.