I always understood Meyer's comments on redshirting to mean all freshmen have an equal chance to start. He may have misstated, but the reality is every player DOES have an equal chance to avoid a redshirt.
In Hubbard's case, yeah... if he blows up this year, he leaves TOSU with several years of eligibility. And on face value that sucks for Buckeye fans.
But consider this... had Meyer NOT redshirted him, he still wouldn't have played. Last year he didn't beat out his DE teammates and was at best the #3 guy. Whose roster spot would he have taken? Likely a valuable special teams player.
Had this been the case, he still leaves for the NFL (potentially) in the 2017 class. So in reality, nothing has changed. He gets the same amount of reps either way... but arguably he gets BETTER reps having benefitted from a year of learning which made him a better player and likely increased his draft stock.
Not to mention, he got an entire year for Mickey to turn him into a beast... all while practicing every day and learning the system.