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what is a redshirt freshman in football

what is a redshirt freshman in football

what is a redshirt freshman in football

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what is a redshirt freshman in football?

A redshirt freshman in football is a player that is in their second year of school yet their first year of athletic participation. In college athletics are given four years of eligibility in their sport though using redshirting these players can spread this eligibility through five or six years of schooling.

In other words, athletes are allowed to compete in their sport for four seasons. But if a player utilizes redshirting he or she can sit out of competition for the first year of games and still maintain their four years of eligibility.

Redshirting players are still able to practice, condition, and receive academic assistance from the team. A redshirt year is usually time spent honing your skills so that your years of eligibility are used effectively.

If you are a redshirt freshman that means you redshirted your first year of eligibility. So even though it is your second year at the school it is your first year competing in your sport.

what is a redshirt freshman in football
what is a redshirt freshman in football

Why Do Players Redshirt In College?

It is widespread for college football players to redshirt. When coaches recruit players, they need to fill certain positions on the roster.

The reason why coaches will ask players to redshirt is to practice with the team without losing a year of eligibility.

If the player plays in 4 or more games (depending on the league), they may lose their eligibility. To get around this, colleges agreed to allow players to redshirt.

For instance, if the team has 5 quarterbacks on the roster, the coach may recruit a player they think will be a perfect fit for their team. However, if their current quarterback is a junior, they know that the recruited quarterback may not play for 2 years.

Instead of wasting a year of his eligibility, coaches will redshirt the freshman and not lose any playing time.

They also benefit from being on the team, as they will practice and do everything a football player does, except play in games.

Why Is It Called Redshirting?

The term “redshirt” comes from the red practice jerseys that reserves wear when they scrimmage against the starters. The concept of a redshirt traces back to pre-World War II college football.

In 1938, Nebraska Cornhuskers lineman, Warren Alfson, became the first redshirted player. Alfson asked his coaches to let him focus on practice, but not play any games, for his sophomore year.

In exchange, Alfson would earn a fifth year of playing eligibility. The move paid off for Alfson. He became an All-American in 1939 and did it again in 1940.

As Warren Alfson showed, redshirting isn’t limited to true freshmen. Players of all classes can redshirt.

what is a redshirt freshman in football
what is a redshirt freshman in football

Should You Redshirt?

Redshirting is more than an extra year of eligibility. It is a decision to place a priority on being ready in the classroom and on the field. Redshirts have the opportunity to become better players, better teammates, and better students. However, whether or not to redshirt is a decision not to be taken lightly. Some of the reasons students might choose this option are outlined below.

What is the red shirt rule?

Being a redshirt means postponing one’s eligibility to play football for a year, thereby extending it into a fifth year of college. During a redshirt year, an athlete can fully attend classes, practice with the team, and even “suit up” in the team uniform and play up to four games to preserve a year of eligibility.

What is a Medical Redshirt?

If a player sustains a season-ending injury they will redshirt. When this occurs, the athlete may apply to the NCAA or NAIA for a ‘medical redshirt’.  The NCAA calls this a “Hardship Waiver.” If granted, the athlete rehabs and possibly begins practicing with the team, but may not enter into any competitions during that year.

Injuries that occur in the first half of the season may allow an athlete to redshirt for that year. If this happens to your teen, the athletic trainer at the college will walk your teen through the process of applying for a medical redshirt.

A medical redshirt is different than a regular redshirt. Athletes injured in the first half of the season who competed in less than thirty percent of the games may apply for a waiver. They don’t lose a year of eligibility.

what is a redshirt freshman in football
what is a redshirt freshman in football

Is Redshirting Bad?

If a player is a redshirt, it does not mean that they are bad. Plenty of players have redshirted in their careers. It’s a strategic move to ensure that they can get the most out of the player they are recruiting.

Many coaches will tell you about players they have on their team that is redshirting. They may ask if you have any players that could benefit from a redshirt season.

If you have a young player who will not play this year, try and convince him to redshirt. It’s a great way for players to learn the system and work on their technique without losing playing time.

If you have a talented player coming up on his senior season, talk to the coach about the benefits of redshirting. It may be worth it to him to play another year without losing playing time or eligibility, as he works his way into the starting lineup next year.

How many redshirts can you have?

How many Redshirt years can you have? Just one. If the coach decides to redshirt you your freshmen year that is all you get. If you are injured before your junior year and miss the season, you are not eligible for a medical redshirt.

What does it mean to redshirt a girl?

Academic redshirting is the practice of keeping a child who is age-eligible for kindergarten out of school an extra year and enrolling him the next fall.

How many years can you be redshirted?

Redshirting allows a student-athlete five years to use four years of athletic eligibility. There are a few different ways to achieve this, and though military and religious redshirts have happened, they are not as common as voluntary, medical, and academic redshirting, which will be discussed below.

Redshirt scholarship offer

Typically, a redshirt athlete will have a scholarship but cannot compete for one year. They will participate in all team activities like practice, training, and receive benefits such as academic tutoring, but they will not see any playing time. However, they will get an opportunity to play four seasons in five years. Reasons for being redshirted include a coach wanting a year to physically prepare an athlete for college competition, or a chance for a student-athlete to recover from an injury. An “academic” redshirt would be a freshman who may not meet the academic eligibility requirements coming out of high school.

what is a redshirt freshman in football
what is a redshirt freshman in football

Pros of redshirt

More Time To Understand The Playbook

One beneficial aspect of redshirting for a year is the time you will have to learn the playbook. It is no surprise that college football playbooks are tough to understand. This is especially true for players coming out of high school.

Redshirted players may use this time to understand exactly what is going to expect out of their position when the time comes to play.

Get Your Body Into Shape

Getting your body into the shape demanded by a college football team is quite a difficulty on its own. Having a year with strength coaches and nutritionists will allow football players to get their bodies into the best shape of their life.

Much like the playbook when it comes to college football these coaches are going to demand a lot more out of you than in high school. This year of training will help athletes bridge that gap.

Acclimate To College Life

Outside of the sport itself, some players have trouble acclimating to college life. Taking this on plus all the responsibilities of playing your sport can be tough. By taking a redshirt season players may find themselves acclimating to college life quicker.

This will make it easier on them when the time comes around to play football the following year.

Cons of red shirt

Don’t Always Get To Travel With The Team

Most collegiate sports teams have budgets and the majority do not include travelling redshirt players around throughout the year. This means by taking a redshirt year you will likely miss out on travelling with the team.

This means you may miss out on some of the team bonding and comradery that will take place throughout your first year of school.

Losing A Year Of Athletic Ability

If you plan on playing your sport professionally then spending a year not competing can be seen as a flaw. If a player is going to the NFL it is their best interest to get to the league as fast as possible.

In order to have a long career, you want to be drafted at a young age. By spending an extra year in college you will be losing one year of athletic ability.

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