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David Ash: Red Light on the Redshirt Talk

There seems to be a bit of misdirection coming out of the Texas program this week and, while familiar, it looks nothing like Bryan Harsin trickeration. Just the same, it is meant to disguise and deflect. If you followed the coaching change saga, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

This round of "smoke" is coming from a virtual flash grenade aimed at the quarterback position. It’s designed to confuse and disorient onlookers into thinking a pecking order exists when in actuality practice reps belie the actual depth chart order. We’re not saying that Garrett Gilbert hasn’t earned first string honors—he has. He’s outplayed the other 3 2 on the roster. What we are saying is that if practice reps in the last month and especially this week, game week, are any indication, then McCoy being listed as the second string signal caller makes no sense on its face. Even more intriguing are the whispers that the staff is seriously considering redshirting Ash which doesn’t add up, given what we’ve heard from multiple sources who attend practice.

If you take the depth chart in its current form at face value then there are too many questions and too few answers.

If Ash were going to even be a candidate to redshirt, why give him almost as many reps as the first team guy in fall camp? During game week, knowing that you only had three quarterbacks on the roster, why give Ash roughly 50% more of the snaps than the purported second string guy, which is what two separate sources have told us? Hell, why waste a significant number of the precious few practice snaps to install a special package of plays for a true freshman if a redshirt was even a coin flip—knowing there was but a single backup on the roster? Why is David Ash, your third stringer, running spread concepts with the rest of the ones four days before the first game when he’s supposedly going to hold a clipboard all year? None of this makes any sense if you think Ash rides the pine in 2011.

It’s our feeling that the rumors being floated about an Ash redshirt are insurance against an immediate transfer by Case McCoy. It’s also our feeling that Ash sees time against Rice and pretty much every game this season because one way or another, the program is likely to lose McCoy before next season which means Ash is at worst the backup in 2012. Now, that’s not to say McCoy won’t play this season, we think he will, but there’s no way the staff is prepared to go all-in on McCoy regardless of how Gilbert performs, so prepping Ash to either take the reins in 2012 or be the primary backup next season is a must.

We’ll see, but we still think Ash plays tomorrow night against Rice.

What do you think?