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Redshirt Rules Could Play Into UGA’s Hands

2009 Capital One Bowl - Michigan State Spartans v Georgia Bulldogs Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

It’s probably one of the biggest ‘what-ifs’ of the Mark Richt tenure.

What if Georgia would have chose not to save Knowshon Moreno’s redshirt and play him as a true freshman in 2006? Needless to say, Matthew Stafford’s development may have been eased with the ability of Moreno to dump the ball off to or carry the running load.

The concern of using up Moreno‘s year of eligibility, without question, held back Georgia‘s offense until he got onto the field.

That line of thinking was already on the way out the door in Athens, and it got fast-tracked by Kirby Smart’s perpetual competition all over the program.

It’s even more so with the passing of the NCAA rule allowing players to play four games and retain a redshirt.

The promise to play early on is even easier to lay out to recruits. With a four-game stretch to work with, it will be easier than ever for players to find their way into games. There is less waiting a full year from here on out.

This ruling may very well play into the hands of teams like Georgia. One x-factor with some players is how they will play once they get on the big stage. The four-game cushion give Smart and his staff a golden avenue to evaluate talent. That will do nothing but put Georgia in place to know who is more proven late in the season in extreme situations.

There is also the injury dynamic.

If a player is injured in the preseason, two months out no longer could spell the entire season. If they can heal up, rosters will be ready and eager to throw players in for a late-season run and bowl game.