Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What's in a Redshirt?

Since I have been talking about our depth problem the last few days I started thinking about the number of Redshirt Freshman that are in our program yearly. I have never understood why a coach would go out to get a player and redshirt him. Ok, yes I get that you want the freshman to learn the system before he gets playing time but what does that do to a guy who is so young? Does it help that an 18 year old learns the system before he gets game experience? I would say yes if you are talking about the quarterback position. The quarterback has to learn the playbook in and out before he can get in the game. He has to learn defensive schemes, what adjustments to make and so on. If a freshman played the cornerback position he would have to learn coverage schemes, that's all. Yes covering a receiver in college football is no easy task, but the truth is these guys will not get any better without getting on the field and experiencing it for themselves.

A.J. Jefferson played in the first game this season against Nevada and did an outstanding job of blanketing Nevada's receivers. Since then I may have missed it but I have not seen him in the game. If that is the case then I have to ask why? I realize they might want to redshirt him, but if he has the physical and mental ability to play corner already why not play him? Will having him for that extra season really help in the end? Or would having him on the field make him a better player right from the start? I feel like if we stop redshirting every single guy that comes through the system our depth would imporve heavily. Instead of having to rely on rarely used freshman we could fall back on players that are now experienced sophomores. Maybe it's just me, but if you go out and recruit someone, shouldn't you want him in the system so he can play instead of getting him to sit back and watch the games? These guys do not want to go to college to sit, they want to go and play. Lonyae Miller is a very good example of using a freshman. His stats are not phenominal, but you can tell game by game that he is slowly getting better. By the time his sophomore year rolls around he will be ready to be a big part of the offense.

Maybe I am just bringing up something that doesn't really matter. I just really wish we had more depth. I know it's Fresno State and we don't get the amount of top line recruits that a PAC-10 school does, but we do have plenty of capable players that just don't have the exprience yet. In order to have a successful season a team will have to learn to make it through injuries. I always complain that our best players get hurt every year, well so do most teams. Jarrett is out for USC as is their starting fullback. Let's see how they respond in the next 2-4 weeks of the year. Fresno needs to be able to do the same thing. We need to be able to have that Linebacker that can step in and take Riley's place if he is hurt. We need to be able to have that corner to step in if McCauley goes down for a few plays. I believe our lack of depth will forever be a problem if we continue to redshirt at the high rate we do. It may be pointless to think about, but in the end I feel like it really does effect the team in the long run.

New Scoreboard Ready - As most of you can see, the new video board is just about done. It is said to be up and running this Saturday and honestly, does it not look ten times better than we had thought it would? Make the trip out this weekend and watch the game against Colorado State even if it is just to check out the new video board out (although I hope the reason you go is to watch the game). This will be our last home non- conference game so I hope we can support the Dogs during this game.

Game Comparisons - You might notice I have not really compared Fresno State and Colorado State. The only reason I haven't is Fresno State is a much better team in all facets of the game and should win this game quite easily. Will they? I don't know if our offense is good enough to blow anyone out, but however bad our offense is, Colorado State's is far worse. So I think a game prediction is all that is needed here. If anyone wants to know what Colorado State brings to the table just let me know and I will write something up on it.


Anonymous said...

AJ Jefferson has been playing as part of the platoon opposite McCauley. He has been exploited and abused, as have all the DBs thrown into that mix. That's probably why you can't remember seeing him; it's natural for the mind to block out morbid and depressing images of the past.

Anonymous said...

maybe they can redshirt #4 and #92 they are nott very good football players.