The redshirt possibilities

CLEMSON - Dabo Swinney and his coaching staff have some tough decisions to make by next Monday.

That's about how long the Clemson coaches will go before making the call to redshirt or not redshirt the first-year freshmen. All parties involved get one more week of practice and another Saturday stadium scrimmage before immediate futures are set in stone.

"Some guys, we probably have a pretty good feel for right now, as far as we've got a few guys that we know are going to play and we've got a few guys that we know are going to redshirt or need to redshirt," Swinney said. "Then, we've got some bubble guys. We'll probably just let it go. This weekend, we'll get them one more good scrimmage.

"Sunday, we'll narrow it down from a staff standpoint and get two weeks to get ready."

At this juncture, it appears that Tyshon Dye, Mike Williams, Jordan Leggett, Shaquille Lawson, Jayron Kearse, Korrin Wiggins and Mackensie Alexander will play in 2013.

Among the likely bubble players are Wayne Gallman, T.J. Green, Ben Boulware and, maybe, Cordrea Tankersley.

"The preference is to play your best players, whoever it is, regardless. If a guy's ready to play and can help you, play him," Swinney said. "I don't like to waste guys' year."

Sometimes, Swinney pointed out, first-year players avoid a redshirt out of necessity.

"Isaiah Battle wasn't ready to play last year, but we really didn't have any choice. We had to bring him along as quickly as we could," Swinney said. "Zac Brooks was another one we really wish we could have redshirted, put him in power hour, but we just weren't in a situation, depth-wise, where we could do that."

While lack of depth at one position forces someone to play before they're ready, depth at a position could force a player to redshirt when he's good enough to contribute as a freshman.

That's kind of what's going on with Boulware.

"There are just a lot of different scenarios that go into making that decision," Swinney said. "At the end of the day, we're going to do what's best for the team.

"If we're playing a freshman, then we'll play him. That's what we've got to decide this week."

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