If he transfers, he has to sit a year starting when he enrolls at the new school. Practically speaking, that means he could suit up for a new school in December 2014 or January 2015 and play for the 2014-2015 schedule at the new school. Not playing this fall would mean that he'd be eligible to claim 2013-2014 as his redshirt year and have one partial year plus one full year at the new school.
If there's a transfer coming, maybe this is simply a "friendly" one, where he's simply supporting the team as much as he can -- short of playing and blowing his redshirt year -- while he's still here. That would make sense to me, given that we're presumably still paying for his scholarship. The thing that doesn't make sense with that theory is why the hypothetical transfer would be a big secret.