The Washington Times - October 2, 2008, 02:42PM

The whole will-they-or-won’t-they redshirting thing is not always a topic that can produce a cookie-cutter analysis.

But in general, it’s usually wiser to redshirt linemen if at all possible and then play guys at other positions who are definitely both ready and needed.

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That’s why it isn’t such a bad thing that Demetrius Hartsfield is closer and closer to contributing to Maryland.

With Ben Pooler done for the year with a torn knee ligament, the Terrapins could use an extra inside linebacker to complement Chase Bullock, Dave Philistin and Alex Wujciak. And Hartsfield is probably the best bet of anyone on the roster.

And Philistin said yesterday that, in essence, is a good thing.

“Hartsfield will be ready,” Philistin said. “Hartsfield is very, very, very talented. He was here for the winter, so it’s not like he’s a freshman freshman. He didn’t come in here during the summer. He already knew the ropes. Hartsfield is very talented, very, very quick. I’ve never seen somebody who is so football savvy. He does the know the game, too.”

If Hartsfield is as football-smart as Philistin believes, then that would give Maryland two really sharp linebackers (Hartsfield and Adrian Moten) to pair with the very capable Alex Wujciak – a guy whom, I was informed via IM on Saturday, the Original Hog amusingly described as “having Doberman in his blood” during the broadcast of the Clemson game).

It doesn’t seem like a bad idea to get Hartsfield into action if he’s ready to go. But since the season’s almost halfway done, it would be wise for Maryland to start using him now to get its money’s worth.

Patrick Stevens