Georgia Football: Could Keith Marshall Get the Redshirt in 2014?

Brian JonesContributor IJanuary 9, 2014

Sep 28, 2013; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Keith Marshall (4) is tackled by LSU Tigers linebacker Lamin Barrow (18) during the second quarter at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since Keith Marshall got injured in the Tennessee game, the talk has been how he will be back with a vengeance in 2014.

And according to the Macon Telegraph, the plan is to have Marshall ready for the first preseason practice. However, the report also says that there’s a chance he could not be ready for the first game of the season and the coaches could put a redshirt on him.

So the question is: Should Marshall redshirt in 2014 to be 100 percent in 2015?

Now that may seem a little out of the ordinary, but one has to look at it from a bigger perspective. Todd Gurley will be at full strength when the season begins, barring any other injuries during spring practice, as well as fall camp. Gurley showed what he can do not only running the ball, but also as a receiver, catching 37 passes for 441 yards and six touchdowns.

So, Gurley will be more involved in the offense, which could lead to fewer touches for Marshall.

Keith Marshall's Career Stats

That said, Marshall was no slouch in the receiving department either. In the five games he played in this past season, Marshall had eight catches for 111 yards and one touchdown. His best game was against South Carolina, catching two passes for 54 yards and one score. He also had 58 rushing yards in the win.

But even if Marshall is ready to go, the backfield will be very crowded next season. With Gurley and Marshall, there’s also J.J. Green, Brendan Douglas, A.J. Turman, who redshirted last season, and the new incoming freshmen, if they stay committed to Georgia, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.

Aug 31, 2013; Clemson, SC, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Keith Marshall (4) carries the ball during the fourth quarter against the Clemson Tigers at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Tigers won 38-35. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Gurley and Marshall will be the No. 1 and No. 2 backs, but if Marshall has to miss preseason work, which he will, the other backs will see more action with Gurley. And there’s a chance one or two of the backs could impress the coaches and become the No. 2 back instead of Marshall. Also, because of the depth at running back, there is no need to rush Marshall back in the lineup, which is the plan.

Odds are Marshall will not get the redshirt if he’s near or at 100 percent. But if his injury does not heal as fast as the coaches would like, and the other running backs produce, it may not be a bad thing for him to redshirt for the sake of his college and potential NFL career.