Tennessee football: CFB redshirt rule should be taken advantage of by Vols

KNOXVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 04: Will McBride #17 of the Tennessee Volunteers looks to pass against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles during the second half at Neyland Stadium on November 4, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
KNOXVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 04: Will McBride #17 of the Tennessee Volunteers looks to pass against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles during the second half at Neyland Stadium on November 4, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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There are a lot of rules in sports fans look at, and all they can do is shake their heads. The redshirt rule was one until the recent rule change.

Every season it seems like there is something that comes up with the rules and all fans can do is shake their heads. One example is the NFL catch rule. Or to bring it back to the college level, what is targeting and what isn’t?

Tennessee has been on the wrong end of terrible targeting calls in recent years. I still can’t believe Jalen Reeves-Maybin was ejected for his hit in the Appalachian State game a couple of years ago.

Another rule that has just made no sense over the years is the redshirt rule for college athletes. Let’s take football, for example. Let’s say your favorite team is struggling with injuries on the offensive line and the coach throws in a kid that isn’t ready for like 12 plays.

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Or, let’s say your team’s starting quarterback goes down and then the second-string quarterback gets injured. Not a serious injury but maybe he would miss a game. Then your head coach throws in the third-string quarterback in a game that your team was going to win with anyone playing quarterback.

Oh, that sounds a lot like Tennessee last season. Sorry to bring back painful memories.

The new redshirt rule states that a player can play up to four games and still take a redshirt for that year. This rule is fantastic for a couple of reasons.

One reason is practice and games are different. It is hard to tell if a player is ready for college football without playing them in the game. So now, coaches will have the ability to throw players into a game or four to figure out if they have what it takes to play at the college level.

Take the 2013 season for example. Butch Jones could have played Josh Dobbs only four games and had him for a whole another year.

A second reason is it helps the kids that get thrown in the game for 15 snaps, and then they lose a year of eligibility. There should be no reason why 15 snaps would be considered an entire year.

A third reason, is now coaches will have the opportunity to play borderline ready freshmen and sophomores in lousy non-conference games.

This rule affects Tennessee perfectly for the quarterback battle. I would think that both Keller Chryst and Jarrett Guarantano will get playing time at the quarterback position.

Unless they stink it up, JT Shrout will probably not see the field next season. However, with this new rule, Shrout can play in four games and still receive a redshirt.

Although the four games will be against non-conference opponents, it will still be invaluable experience for the young freshman.

Who knows, with the extra playing time Shrout could be a baller on the field, much like Josh Dobbs was. He could earn playing time or prove to the coaches he is the quarterback of the future.

This rule doesn’t just apply for quarterbacks either. It affects players all over the field and will help Jeremy Pruitt in his first season. He will be able to play every player on the roster four games and still be able to redshirt them.

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It will be interesting to see how Pruitt coaches with this rule. I think it is safe to say if players are remotely close to playing they will at least have their chance for a game or two.