Joe Milton can play in a bowl and 2023 [Upchurch]

Redshirt Tracker 2000 Comment Count

Seth December 10th, 2018 at 5:07 PM

This was the first year under the NCAA's new redshirt rules that allow a player to participate in four games without that counting as a year of eligibility. According to participation reports Michigan managed to get to the end of the regular season without burning any unnecessary freshman redshirts, pending one fullback's unlikely participation in the bowl game. Since I have the data I figured I might as well share.

No Redshirt:

These three freshmen played in all 12 games

  • WR Ronnie Bell basically took over Eddie McDoom's role and finished with 145 yards and 2 TDs on 9 targets.
  • DE Aidan Hutchinson spent the season as Chase Winovich's backup, and while that may sound like a redshirt he was a valuable asset.
  • K Jake Moody was the kickoff specialist from Day 1 and won the placekicking job prior to the Indiana game.

They also missed a chance to get a redshirt on sophomore RB O'Maury Samuels, who played played in six of Michigan's first seven games before falling out of the rotation. And just for completeness purposes I'll mention reserve S Jaylen Kelly-Powell played in seven games, and WR Tarik Black might have been eligible for a sixth year if his foot injury limited him to four games this year, but he returned for MSU and has now played in five.

Already at Four:

FB Ben VanSumeren (WMU, SMU, Neb, NW) can maintain his redshirt status as long as he doesn't participate in the Peach Bowl.

Played Three Games or Fewer:

  • QB Joe Milton (Wisconsin, Rutgers, and OSU) is the big name, since it means he's available in case Patterson goes out again.
  • OT Jaylen Mayfield (WMU, Nebraska, Maryland) also has a shot to win a future tackle job in the bowl game with his redshirt secured.
  • RB Christian Turner (Nebraska, Wisconsin) had 13 carries for 63 yards before shutting down. He appears to be a part of the future.
  • RB Hassan Haskins (ND, WMU) appeared in a few games early in the year. He's not on either stat sheet.
  • Luke Schoonmaker of Connecticut was on the field against Rutgers, presumably a nice treat for family members who came to see him. He didn't register on the stat sheet.
  • Vincent Gray also got in against Rutgers according to the participation report (I didn't have this one)
  • Cameron McGrone got in on special teams versus Nebraska.

Did Not Play

Tight end Mustapha Muhammad and TE/OL Ryan Hayes never got on the field, as Michigan had plenty of tight ends and sixth OL candidates. On defense the two project DEs Julius Welschof and Taylor Upshaw didn't play this year, and neither did recently converted viper/slot receiver Michael Barrett nor the rest class of lengthy/leapy defensive backs: German and Gemon Green, Sammy Faustin, and Myles Sims as Michigan went most of the season with its three starters.



December 10th, 2018 at 5:58 PM ^

To me, it's most beneficial to preserve redshirts for OL and FB.  

At the OL, I generally think that it is important to have a line consisting primarily of 3rd-5th year players.  Largely, this is because there is a real difference in size and strength between an 18-20 year old and a 21-22/23 year old.  Also, OL is one of the most technically complex positions to play.  Aside from the fundamentals of footwork, handwork, pad level, etc., it is also critical for an OL to be able to really understand the complexities of the team's blocking schemes, as well as the complex defensive packages that he is facing.  To do this, you need to be able to consistently redshirt all incoming linemen.  Because of so many coaching changes, poor OL recruiting, etc., we have not had this luxury over the past decade plus, and the results speak for themselves.

As to FB, those guys rarely go pro early (if ever), so all things being equal, it is nice to have a 5th year FB who is fully beefed up and weaponized.

I am generally less concerned with red shirting skill position players, with the caveat that I generally don't like seeing true freshmen playing AT ALL since it rarely portends good things.


December 10th, 2018 at 8:47 PM ^

Playing true frosh because of NEED may not portend well, but if they WIN the job (for the best example, Trevor Lawrence; closer to home and somewhat less spectacularly, Bell & Hutchinson) I think it is the best possible scenario. 

My issue, barely touched on in the OP, is with this new rule why NOT get some feet wet when the situation allows? And the situation certainly allowed in about half the games this year!

The entire starting secondary may be gone next season, yet a couple token snaps for Vincent Gray was all the large class of freshmen saw?! That seems like a real lost opportunity & questionable foresight in roster management! 

yossarians tree

December 11th, 2018 at 2:50 PM ^

It was hard to be critical of Don Brown this season (ahem, maybe the last game) but I was very pissed off several times at the end of blowout wins when most of our starters were still on the field late in the 4th quarter. In at least two cases it appeared they were going for the shutout, which to me is utterly meaningless in the broader scheme of things.


December 10th, 2018 at 9:17 PM ^

The new redshirting rule seems to be one of the most sane and great rule changes the NCAA has done in a long time. It's nice not having to freak out because Luke Schoonmaker was seen on the field for a few snaps at Rutgers or because some other freshman saw garbage time snaps. It makes sense


December 10th, 2018 at 10:40 PM ^

I agree that it works well for true freshmen but I don't like it when someone like the WR from (OK State?) can quit 4 games into the season and get a redshirt for the year. He is cheating his team mates, particularly players who would have gotten experience if he hadn't taken the reps. (Imagine if a player who didn't play in the first 4 games loses his redshirt because he is needed 5 games into the season). When someone makes a commitment they should see it through, barring extreme circumstances.


December 11th, 2018 at 1:19 PM ^

Very interesting that the #1 contribution by a freshman this year was made by someone who was totally off the recruiting radar and did not start the year as a scholarship player but as a walk-on, Jake Moody.  Harbaugh didn't even stay overnight at his house!  Recruitnik crazy people must have been dazed by this development.  No doubt it still doesn't assuage "their" loss of whatshisname from Oklahoma who is still in high school.  Ronnie Bell and Aiden Hutchinson were also above-average contributors but less than five-star recruits. 

Mr Miggle

December 11th, 2018 at 3:52 PM ^

Moody was never a walk-on. He committed as a greyshirt, meaning he was willing to wait and be a part of the 2019 class if there wasn't room for him. A spot opened up and he took it, but he was always going to be on a 4 year scholarship.

Hutchinson was the top rated recruit in the class.