The new redshirt rule may work to benefit a couple of Wildcats. Defensive end Kengera Daniel and wide receiver Cleven Thomas may utilize the new rule and redshirt for the remainder of the 2018 season.
Coaches no longer have to weigh the pros and cons of sitting a player for a year. Earlier this year, the NCAA passed a rule that allows players to participate in up to four games during the season without losing a year of eligibility.
The new rule works in favor of both coaches and players. It offers coaches much more flexibility with their rosters and players can get their feet wet at the collegiate level without sacrificing a year of eligibility.
“We are considering saving that year (for Daniel),” Stoops revealed after Thursday’s practice. “Clevan (Thomas) as well. It just makes sense if we can do that, for them and for us.”
Mark Stoops can play a young freshman early in the season, then if the coaching staff sees that said player could be a liability or isn’t ready for the rigors of a full season, the player can redshirted provided he didn’t play more than four games.
In the cases of both Daniel and Thomas, neither is a freshman, in fact Daniel is a senior. Daniel and Thomas have each only participated in three games this season.
Daniel was on the field during the Wildcats first three games, but did not see action against Mississippi State or South Carolina. With Josh Allen tearing up the competition lately, it’s been hard for anyone to get on the field as an edge rusher in UK’s defense. Redshirting this season could give Daniel a larger role in 2019.
Thomas had a 40-yard catch against Murray State this season. He has three total catches on the season. With a stacked group of wide receivers that includes David Bouvier, Josh Ali, Tavin Richardson, Dorian Baker, and Lynn Bowden.
Similar to Daniel, Thomas’ opportunity to play may increase with the departures of Baker and Bouvier who are both seniors.
Don’t expect Daniel and Thomas to be the only players on the Kentucky Wildcats to utilize the new redshirt rule this season. In fact, Sihiem King is already slated to sit out the remainder of the 2018 season and may transfer.