Sometimes the smartest thing a college football program can do is give an elite recruit a redshirt season right off the bat.
Redshirts don't always have to be used for players coming off of injuries or recruits that need more time to hit the weights.
In many cases, a redshirt can be given to a recruit for strictly strategic reasons.
One: It gives the player a year to learn the system, and that's extremely important—especially for skill players.
Two: It can create some important separation in eligibility between the recruit and a star player at his respective position. That allows a program to get the most out of a recruit's skill set when they really need it.
All-in-all, redshirting is a great option when it's done strategically.
With that in mind, here are five elite recruits that should be redshirted in their first year: