Blue-shirting, which has been most used by Tennessee with some of their massive signing classes, is where a recruit comes in for the fall semester and does not play at all. He goes on scholarship at the start of the fall semester but his presence on the 85-player roster and his initial presence count forward.
In this case, Noel, who merely signed a sheet of paper Wednesday and won't fill out official forms until August, will count in the 2015 recruiting class.
The word was Texas Tech wanted Noel to gray shirt but through the blue-shirt process Oklahoma State was able to allow him to get his education started faster. He had been a Texas Tech commitment but the Red Raiders went the junior college route with most of their offensive line needs to be more ready to plug new players in more immediately.