Redshirt or Not?

With more than half of fall practices gone by, the Sun Devil staff has undoubtedly started to form their opinion as to which true freshmen will suit up this season and which ones will be redshirted. Here are Devils Digest's projections on this matter, as we list the true freshmen in alphabetical order.

Jarrid Bryant – at 6-4 he's one of the most physical wide receivers on the team, and the epitome of a raw talent player that needs to polish off his skills. Thus, he will be redshirted in 2009. Nonetheless, he will be a very nice addition to his group next year.

Vontaze Burfict – the five star linebacker came as advertised to say the least. His performance in every practice, let alone in the scrimmage on Saturday speaks for itself. Coaches and fans alike are salivating to see him play on Saturdays.

Matthew Tucker – coming in as mid-year high school transfer is paying off for the Aurora, Col. product. Even though he has been largely regulated to the third unit and may be considered the fifth best safety on the squad, he has earned the right to play this year and will be an important part of this group's depth.

Brock Osweiler – unlike Tucker, we're not sure if this mid-year high school transfer will see the field in 2009. The Kalispell, Mont. signal caller is not having a bad fall camp by any means, but on the same token isn't particularly threatening no. 2 quarterback Samson Szakacsy. Therefore, we believe it's unlikely that Osweiler's redshirt will burned if it's clear that he will be backing up Szakacsy. Nonetheless, we know the staff likes this freshman a great deal, so he could truly be a 50-50 proposition in terms of playing this year.

Osahon Irabor – an unfortunate wrist injury early in camp sealed the corner's fate when it came to redshirting. The Upland, Calif. standout was having a very nice camp and stood a realistic chance of not redshirting even in a deep cornerback unit. If he's 100% healed this time next year, and displays the same skills he had in camp, we could be possibly looking at one starting corner for the 2010 season.

Cameron Marshall – after a fairly uneventful start to fall camp, the San Jose running back has been coming on strong and was one of the standouts in the scrimmage. His combination of power and speed is probably the best among his group and he's forcing the Arizona State coaches to take a hard look at him as camp enters its stretch run this week. This one is would also qualify a toss-up right now, but if Marshall builds on his fine performance from the last few practices it will be hard to keep him off the field.

Shane McCullen – the local and talented Apache Junction safety has had a hard time elevating himself up the depth chart in a deep safety group. Therefore, he's headed for a redshirt year.

Jamal Miles – much like Marshall, the local Peoria running back, who since the beginning of camp has moved to slot receiver, has been opening a lot of eyes the last few sessions, including a solid scrimmage. With the struggles of backup slot receiver A.J. Pickens (which forced senior Chris McGaha to take snaps with the second team at that position), we feel that barring a major regression this week Miles has punched in his ticket for playing this year.

Anthony Jones – in a loaded linebacker corps the local Chandler Hamilton player stood little chance of not redshirting. An injury early in camp which had held him out of the scrimmage and some sessions previous to that, naturally didn't improve his chances of seeing action in 2009.

Evan Finkenberg – it's rare for an offensive lineman to play his freshman year and the Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. is no exception. Furthermore, he will need to add to his 6-6 265 frame to have a chance of contributing next year.

Corey Adams – one of the state's only blue chip recruits in the 2009 class, has been playing well, but maybe not at the high level he was expected to perform at. The Scottsdale Saguaro star has started to entrench himself on the second team, but certainly has a much stronger chance of being demoted to the third unit than becoming a starter. It would be a shock if Adams did sit out the season and improving his play this week will easily remove any doubts that may still exist concerning his prospects.

Kody Koebensky – same deal with Finkenberg applies to Adams' Saguaro teammate, although this offensive lineman may be better served shedding some pounds off his 303 lbs. weight.

J.J. Holliday – his fellow in-state wide receiver Miles, may be hindering the Tucson Santa Rita star from avoiding the redshirt tag. Holliday as been as solid as any wide receiver in practice and a 46-yard catch in the scrimmage obviously only helps his cause. Nonetheless, we do expect him to be redshirted but it will probably be one of the toughest decisions for the staff to make in this aspect.

Max Smith – the Scottsdale Saguaro tight end has been helping his cause almost from day one, and as it is his competition at the position isn't overwhelming. He has positioned himself very nicely to not redshirt, but may need to kick it up a notch or two right now to solidify his chances.

Chris Coyle – like Irabor, the Westlake Village, Calif. tight end suffered an injury in the early going of camp that in essence guaranteed him a redshirt year. Like some other freshmen, if he uses the year off to not only heal but add weight, he can positioned himself very strongly for the 2010 campaign.

Will Sutton – while the coaches probably didn't expect the Corona Centennial to be redshirted, they are probably pleasantly surprised at the high level of play he has been displaying. There is a very good chance, like his ex-teammate Burfict, that he will be a starter sooner rather than later. He was regarded as the best high school offensive tackle in California last year and these days it's easy to see why.

Greg Smith – the Perris, Calif. defensive end probably had an uphill battle to begin to not redshirt, and a slow start in camp has now made his redshirt a guarantee. He is slowly starting to play better and could be one the more intriguing redshirt freshmen players in 2010.

Last season ten true freshmen saw action. All things considered, in 2009 we feel that six true freshmen stand a very good chance, if not a virtual guarantee of playing, and that number could be as high as nine players. Overall, another solid recruiting class is helping players see the field early and help build a solid foundation to the team.


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