My thoughts on Shae are as follows:
First, Pellerin has earned the right to start. Period. He's been number 2 all year, he's been the CONSTANT PLAN-B if Chad went down, and as a coach, Hugh MUST START him or risk never being trusted by any player ever. Depth charts are important and it's Pellerin's job to lose.
Secondly, "To RS or not RS?"
Well, that is the question isn't it? I get both sides of the argument, but I see no reason to RS simply for the sake of RShirting. If he's as good as we think he's not on campus in 2020. If he is, he's not starting. Burning it is a compelling argument IF he's needed to be a difference maker in how this season plays out. WHY? well, there are potentially four games left. 30% of the season. IF Shae can win games, he should play this year, but only if Pellerin is not being effective or he goes down.
I sure wouldn't announce my intentions either. And regardless of what I decided I probably wouldn't play Shae at A&M regardless. Look I'm a competitor, but that's a terrible draw for introducing the #1 recruit in the nation to his first action. Vandy is a different deal. Other than LSU I can think of no worse place for a true freshman road quarterback to take his first snap.
The way I see it is your very best chances of winning are Vandy on the road, and State at home. Win them both and you get a bowl game, a victory over State, and a bunch of December practices. It matters not where you go, what would matter is the days of practice for BOTH qb's, RS's, etc. It's big. Beating State is important for reasons I don't have to explain. Not having a losing record the same thing. If you win a bowl game with either QB at the helm it's momentum for 2017. We could use some.
You HAVE to give Pellerin the start at A&M and you HAVE to give him rope. Not because of the press, or parents or any external reasons. The reason you have to give him a chance well into the 3rd quarter is internal You HAVE TO BELIEVE in him and the team must also believe that YOU believe in him. Otherwise you have bred a ton of problems (see Houston Nutt's entire career with QB's, their mental state, and team cohesion for proof).
I'd roll the dice with Pellerin at A&M and SHOW FAITH in HIM with a LONG LEASH. If I pulled the redshirt I do it 14 days after chad went down in a much more friendly place, NASHVILLE. There will be few Rebels at College station in a LOUD environment outnumbered 10-1 maybe (if we don't travel well) 20-1. At vandy it will be closer to 1-1. I would give the O line time to get better, and if necessary I'd roll Shae out against a less aggressive defensive front in a friendly city against a weaker team. You'd like to give him a odds on chance of success. I don't think A&M gives him what he deserves.
Understand, I'm not surrendering competing at A&M I'm just not throwing my #1 recruit into that blender AND undermining my number 2 QB at the same time. Nor am I willing to risk the chance of my #1 recruit pressing too hard, having a disastrous first game and being a head case for vandy while at the same time creating locker room tension. Plus, there would be an undercurrent to a QB dispute that this team just doesn't need. Now, if ever.
So to summarize, I'd have a long talk with Shae about his role, I'd tell him he's only in at A&M if Pellerin goes down. Sunday I would evaluate, and then go from there.