The 2018 college football season was the first that allowed players to appear in up to four games without burning their redshirt. This rule was enacted to benefit younger players, but we’ve seen veteran players take advantage of the rule as well, which may cause the NCAA to come up with some tweaks.
But for our purposes today, we’re only focusing on true freshman. With the Alamo Bowl on tap to wrap up this wonderful season, I thought it’d be good to see which true freshman can play for WSU on Friday, and which ones would have to sit to preserve their redshirt.
In looking at WSU’s participation chart from the Alamo Bowl game notes (scroll way down to page 43), here is what I found:
True freshman who have appeared in 1-3 games:
- Ahmir Crowder – DL (1)
- Halid Djibril – DB (3)
- Jarrett Kingston – OL (1)
- Hank Pladson – LB (1)
- Tyrese Ross – S (3)
- Ron Stone Jr. – Rush (1)
- Kassidy Woods – WR (3)
Players who have appeared in four games or more:
- Max Borghi – RB (12)
- Rodrick Fisher – WR (4)
- Patrick Nunn – DB (4)
- Kedron Williams – DB (7)
Every other true freshman appeared in zero games.
So, the guys in the first group can play Friday and still be redshirt freshman next season. As for the second group, Nunn will have to sit out the Alamo Bowl if the coaches want him to preserve his redshirt. Interestingly, he appeared in WSU’s last three games against Colorado, Arizona and UW after seeing the field in week six at Oregon State. Fisher is in the same boat, but I’m assuming he’s ruled out anyway while he recovers from shoulder surgery.
Getting Williams in seven games at nickel helps heading into next season given that Hunter Dale is a senior. Williams saw limited time in those seven games and hauled in an interception at Colorado (pictured at top). Scott noted how Williams moved up the depth chart earlier this season.
And of course, Borghi is Borghi, doing Borghi things.
The first priority is to win the Alamo Bowl, but should WSU need some reinforcements, whether a guy in the two-deeps gets injured or WSU is about to #drop70, it could be beneficial for those who have played in fewer than four games to get some playing time on a big stage.
I also wonder how this rule impacts recruiting. We saw Mike Leach take only two wide receivers during the early signing period, and while WSU returns a lot at that position, there are two guys—Fisher and Woods—who got some playing time and will preserve their redshirts. Perhaps that went into WSU’s recruiting strategy, who knows.
WSU isn’t all that thin at any one position heading into the Alamo Bowl, so it’s not like burning a guy’s redshirt will be a crucial decision heading into the game. But in case things go haywire for one reason or another on Friday, these are some guys you might see on the field and say to yourself, “Who’s that?”