So, this thought came up to me while considering Devin Gardner, and I thought I would put it all to you. We all know you use a redshirt if a kid isn't ready to play, is injured, or is a freshman at a position of depth. So here's a question that occurred to me.
What would you do if you had a freshman early enrollee who was obviously very talented, had worked very hard, was ready to play at least a limited role, and came to you telling you that playing is his reward for working so hard, it's the only reason he worked so hard, and he wants to play, but you had plenty of upper classmen at the position? The kid is realistic about his pro chances, in that, if he's good enough to be a pro, three/four years spent starting versus two/three years starting and a year with limited playing time isn't going to make a difference, and so there will be no convincing him to save that show off time.
What do you do? You know he won't hurt the team to play, but he's also not going to be a tangible improvement over the upper classmen. Do you tell him no, and in doing so, possibly remove or reduce his motivation for trying? Do you tell him yes and lose depth at the position four years down the road to motivate him this year, and at the cost of playing time for your upper classmen?