From my limited experience, and from what I've gathered from these boards, I'd say starting him is the quickest way to increase his WE. I don't think you'll reach your potential if you don't get his WE up some more. Playing time will increase his WE, but not as fast as starting him. I realize that your team may not allow for him to start, especially if you want to win now, but something to think about. I've started guys like this in the past, and set him to fairly fresh, so he doesn't play many minutes. I don't think starting WE has an affect on whether he'll accept the redshirt without a drop. As far as signing him as a low ranked school, I would suggest getting him interested in you early, so another school is less likely to battle with you for the recruit. At DIII, teams are less likely to battle over recruits, as there are plenty of recruits who fall roughly into the same talent/potential level. Once you think you're solid with the recruit, and the scholarship message favors you, I'd try the redshirt. Worse case, he flat out rejects it, and you have to send another Home Visit to get back to where you were before offering the RS. That's just my thoughts though.