Grey shirting is a recruiting term that is not as commonly used as the term redshirting. A grey shirt is an incoming college freshman who postpones his enrollment in classes until the second term of his freshman year. This means they don’t take classes until the winter term. The NCAA allows college athletes five years to complete four years of eligibility after initial enrollment.
When a grayshirt puts off his enrollment, he’s extending his eligibility past his senior year for another term. Grayshirting is most commonly used in football. By delaying enrollment until the winter after his senior year of high school, a football player can play the fall season one year after his graduation date.
However, in redshirting, an athlete is enrolled in classes and practicing with the team, but not competing in games. By postponing their participation in games, they extend their eligibility into a fifth year of school. They are allowed to practice and train, but don’t compete in games so they don’t lose a year of eligibility. Redshirting is also used when an athlete gets injured and won’t be back for the season.