Player 1: Late August/September birthday. Not held back
Fresh 14 yo: 5'6 140 lbs, 78 mph
Soph 15 yo: 5'8 150 lbs, 82 mph
Junior: 16 yo: 5'11 165 lbs, 88 mph
Senior: 17 yo: 6'0 17 170lbs, ???
Player 2: Same Birthday. Same player, just held back
Fresh 15 yo: 5'8 150 lbs 82 mph
Soph 16 yo: 5'11 160 lbs 88 mph
Junior 17 yo: 6'1 170 lbs 91 mph
Senior 18 yo: 6'2 180 lbs 93 mph
Player 1 is a solid player but D1 schools didn't come running. He missed the P5 train and most likely a good amount of mid majors. His options would probably be lower D1/D2/D3/Juco. Will always be the youngest in his grade, kids from the grade below could even be older. He will be 16 when he starts his senior year of hs and 17 when he heads off to college unable to sign any paperwork if he ever gets sick or injured.
Player 2 is a top player in his state. Committed to a P5/quality mid major in between his sophomore/junior year. Most likely a draft prospect of some sort. Would have been invited to Area Code, ECP, and will play with one of the better summer teams (potentially for less $). Will be the first in his class to drive, first to turn 21, etc.
I'm not pro redshirt, nor do I have many problems with it. But we all know it's for sport specific purposes 95% of the time. Compare player 1 to 2 and tell me it can't make a big difference?