By Brian McInnis
Sometime between now and the Nov. 9 start to the 2012-13 season, Gib Arnold and the Hawaii coaching staff must decide which, if any, players to redshirt.
The idea or ideas behind redshirting a player is/are pretty straightforward. You maintain a season of eligibility while allowing the prospect to grow into a more developed player (and sometimes student) through the "farm system" of the scout team. You can alleviate logjams at positions too stocked with bodies, where not everyone will get to play anyway. This can sometimes prevent a player from growing despondent about a lack of PT, because he accepts his day will come in time. Brandon Jawato was such a player last season; it didn't make much sense to burn a season of eligibility playing behind the seasoned Zane Johnson.
Now, the retooled Rainbow Warriors have quite a few redshirt candidates this season. Arnold said today he would "most likely redshirt a few players this year."
"We haven't talked with any of the guys," Arnold said. "Not at all since everybody's been here. There is discussion, obviously, amongst the staff. I like the idea of redshirting freshmen. If I could afford to, I would redshirt every freshman. ... You're basically trading a freshman year for a fifth-year senior year. I think it's a good trade. It's not for everybody, but I like to do that.
"You have to have it figured out by the first game of the year. ... I'm no hurry. I've got a couple months before I have to make any decisions on that. We're letting them play and letting them grow. But in the back of my mind, obviously, and in talks with the coaches, we're having discussions on that."
The true freshmen on the team are:
>> Dyrbe Enos, 5-9, 160 G
>> Ozren Pavlovic, 6-8. 210 F
>> Michael Harper, 6-4, 200 G
>> Caleb Dressler, 6-10, 250 C
>> Manroop Clair, 6-2, 180 G
>> Isaac Fotu, 6-8, 240 F
>> Aaron Valdes, 6-5, 200 G
And, of course, Keith Shamburger is an automatic redshirt because of his transfer status from San Jose State.
Who do you think are the most likely redshirt candidates? Comment away, sirs and ladies.
If you're watching the UH roster closely here, you'll notice Valdes is still the Invisible Man. According to Arnold, the NCAA hasn't yet gotten to his paperwork as a late admission to UH. Until then, he can still have workouts and open gym sessions with the team through a 45-day waiver. Valdes came in on Aug. 24.
The coach is unconcerned about an extended delay of clearance; he expects Valdes to be through well before the Oct. 12 start of official practices. He said there can be a delay while football players in limbo (the NCAA's priority at this time of the year) are cleared first.
"Then they start getting to the next sport, which would be us," Arnold said. "I have no concern on it at all, actually. I don't see any red flags. ... They just got his paperwork as a late signee. Normally we work on that stuff all over the summer, and we try to have everything in by the time before school starts. All that stuff didn't get in 'til late. (The clearninghouse) is swamped with football. That's what they're telling us."