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Reports: Redfield down to Notre Dame and USC

Dec 12, 2012, 9:18 PM EDT

Max Redfield

The Irish coaching staff certainly isn’t resting on its laurels in the recruiting war. Even with a recruiting class edging closer to capacity, Notre Dame is in the hunt for one of the country’s elite safeties, Southern California’s Max Redfield.

At 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, Redfield has the elite size coveted by the Irish at safety. While the position has had a large influx of talent over the past two recruiting classes, Redfield is the type of plug and play prospect that you find room for in any recruiting class.

Over the past few weeks, it appeared the stars had been aligning for Notre Dame, with Redfield de-committing from USC and then having Oregon pull a visit after it was convinced the Mission Viejo safety was a sure lock for Notre Dame.

But with Lane Kiffin convincing Redfield to take an official visit to Southern Cal last weekend, the Trojans have pushed their way back into the conversation.

With Redfield set to announce his intentions at the Under Armor All-American game on January 5th, reports that Redfield is 50/50 between the Irish and Trojans.

“Pretty much it is between Notre Dame and USC right now,” Redfield told Rivals’ “I am planning on making a decision on Jan. 5 at the Under Armour Game. I am torn 50/50 right now. I honestly don’t know where I am going to go to college.”

That USC was able to work their way back into the conversation is enough to have recruitniks a little bit spooked. But considering a recruiting visit and a full court press only got the Trojans back to even also lets Irish fans feel a little bit more optimistic as well.

One thing that could be leaning in Notre Dame’s favor is Redfield’s straightforward way of making this decision. While rumors have spread that Redfield’s parents may favor their son staying closer to home to play football, the safety and two-way football star, looks like he’s taking an objective approach to the decision.

“I might be getting to an emotional decision, which I need to get away [from] and pretty much just narrow it down to a business decision,” Redfield told Rivals. “Take away pretty much just the factors that are extremely important and will help me with the rest of my life.”

That quote sounds like it comes straight from the Notre Dame playbook.

With Brian Kelly already using his in-home visit to spend time with Redfield’s parents, expect the Irish assistants to continue to put time in with Redfield, as co-defensive coordinator Kerry Cooks did this week with another visit to Orange County.

It’s a battle that could go down to the wire and another potential Irish victory, another perk of a 12-0 regular season.

  1. aceinthehole12 - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    With little bias as possible; if he wants to play for a national title within his four collegiate years he’ll come to South Bend.

    • bernhtp - Dec 12, 2012 at 11:06 PM

      If his choice of school is based upon who is most likely to win a championship, Notre Dame is probably not the right place for him regardless of how well our team does.

      • aceinthehole12 - Dec 12, 2012 at 11:29 PM

        I just see ND getting back to the big game against before USC does.

      • ndbcs2013 - Dec 12, 2012 at 11:38 PM

        That is not how I read it. The young man is choosing between two fine schools, each with elite football histories. Aceinthehole12 to me is pointing out the great thing about the ND football program trajectory, which is that objective observers can now say that the next four years look brighter for Notre Dame football than for USC. And for potential recruits, that important tiebreaker – stable, winning program – has now swung in clear favor of the Irish.

        And what an awesome feeling that statement is for us fans!

      • bernhtp - Dec 13, 2012 at 8:16 AM

        I don’t disagree with the premise – that Notre Dame is more likely to see a NC game in his four-year tenure – but that this as a primary focus for his choice does not constitute an RKG.

      • nudeman - Dec 13, 2012 at 9:38 AM

        My opinion on Redfield:
        1) I have no good feel about how this ends up. Could make an impassioned case either way

        2) He’s the real deal. A 6’3″ guy who can run like that is freakish.

        3) And the real point of this post: ND and SC fans who want to boil this down to one decision making dynamic are oversimplifying. He’s 17-18 years old. Things that matter, in no particular order, are academics, parents preference, program quality and trajectory, playing for an NC, proximity to home, weather, early playing time, girls, comfort with the coaches and other recruits, and probably a bunch of other things. No one here or elsewhere has any insight, as best as I can tell.
        As an example supposedly the USC coaches recently put together a powerful presentation on their academics and it made a solid impact. Before you denigrate USC’s academics because it isn’t ND, take a breath. USC is a really good school. If Redfield is a serious student he can get an excellent education at USC.
        There are about 20 other moving parts and no one knows. I’m not sure even HE knows right now. A solid 50/50.

        But I’d love to see him in blue and gold.

      • ndgoldandblue - Dec 13, 2012 at 10:02 AM

        Nude, USC may be a really good school academically, and I’m sure Redfield could get an excellent education there if he was serious about it. But let’s compare the graduation success rates between USC and Notre Dame. USC is at 57%; Notre Dame is 97%.

        All I’m saying is that Redfield might be serious about his education, but is the USC football program serious about Redfield getting his education? There are a plethora of things that can distract a student-athlete while he’s in college. I know; I was distracted plenty. But, does the university and the football program make it a personal responsibility to keep those student-athletes focused on their education? Notre Dame being in the top five for GSR’s over a number of years isn’t a fluke.

        So yeah, Redfield can get a great education at USC, but he could also get some BS degree (that doesn’t stand for bachelor’s of science) in University Studies. Or…he might not even get his degree at all. Just like marriages, everyone goes into college expecting success, but also like marriages, success is never a foregone conclusion. At Notre Dame, he would have a better support system to get a degree that will lead to success off the football field.

      • nudeman - Dec 13, 2012 at 10:33 AM

        All true, what you said.
        But for a minute let’s take Redfield and his family at their word, and assume they ARE serious about education and a degree. I have no reason to believe otherwise, btw.

        If that’s the case, you’re looking at the USC 57% number and saying “Doesn’t matter if it’s 1%; I’m all about a degree”.

        As I said, until Redfield’s next door neighbor logs on, none of us know what he’s really thinking. My point is just that it is a mistake that is frequently made here to assume “Interest in academics = Automatic ND decision”.


        Pat Haden was a Rhodes Scholar. Lots of other USC players have been excellent students (Leinart and his ballroom dancing aside). Like I said I could make a very compelling case that he will choose ND. And an equally compelling one that he’ll pick SC.

      • bernhtp - Dec 13, 2012 at 11:27 AM

        Nude: regarding the comparability of USC and ND academics for Redfield (et al), you need to look beyond the GSR. It really boils down to the institutional commitment to ensure each kid is given a rigorous academic program and the support system to succeed. Notre Dame goes to heroic lengths to ensure its student athletes work hard academically and are given every support possible to do well. While you can certainly do very well (e.g., Haden at USC) at other schools if you have it within yourself (intelligence, discipline, time management, etc.), ND is one of the few places that puts high emphasis here. Yes, it is reflected in the GSR, but goes far beyond that.

        I TA’d/tutored a good number of big name athletes that came out of ND many years ago, so am very familiar with the process and the difference.

      • nudeman - Dec 13, 2012 at 11:41 AM

        All true. And overall for all the reasons you mention ND gets the check in the academic category. But many here make the leap that ND is the only choice if academics are of interest and I think that’s overconfidence.

        If a kid is academically inclined he can do very well for himself at USC, UM, tOSU, and many other great schools. That’s all I’m saying.

      • 9irish - Dec 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM

        See, that’s what worries me about USC now. It is a good school, with all the sex appeal and stuff for West Coasters, but I always thought of it, football wise, as shady. Now, I think Haded is trying to make it into the “other” Stanford out there, which will make competition for RKGs even harder.

      • 9irish - Dec 13, 2012 at 12:06 PM


      • nudeman - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        Making it into the other Stanford is a hell of a task, and I don’t think that’s in the cards anytime soon. Haden or no Haden, I’d still expect USC to have lower admission standards, lower grad rate, and more clowns than ND on the roster. BUT … if a recruit really wants to work hard and get a legit college degree in Business, Engineering, etc … that’s available.

        I think Haden will tighten some of that up and also work hard to eliminate some of the Reggie Bush style BS that embarrasses the entire institution. But even that won’t happen in 3 or 4 years. There is something of a culture of cutting corners in recruiting and lax academic enforcement that will take time to flush from the system.

    • 808raiderinparadise - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      WITH ALL THINGS CONSIDERED … Golson’s growth during the season was sensational.

      ND will will 9+ games next year with the promising depth …. growth of youth and recruits who can hit the field right away.

      ND is avalanching back onto CFB scene, awards, 1st team all americans, high caliber recruits, great coaching staff, players, releveance, exposure, and most importantly WINS 12-0.

      Took forever but ND moving forward will be top 10 every year for a while.

      • bernhtp - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:21 PM

        I expect Notre Dame to have an excellent team for at least the next few years, but you can have a great team and still not be in championship contention due to bad breaks, injuries, peaking top competition, etc. I expect next year’s team to be as good as this one, but I would be very (and happily) surprised to see them go 12-0 again. That a product not only of greatness, but luck.

        Holtz had a number of great teams, but only one championship (well, maybe two). Ara had amazing teams and had two.

      • 808raiderinparadise - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:44 PM

        The offense will be much more osund next year. The defense will have a drop-off.

        If they Off can score another 7-14 points a game (they will imo)

        and the defense lets up about 15-18 pts a game, my prediction.

        Then ND has to find a way out of the 2-3 close games they will have.

        i see 9-3 at worst.

  2. jerseyshorendfan1 - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Hey Max, you can go play for some goofy Tosh.0 lookalike who will eventually crash the SC program into the ground or come to ND, play right away and compete for a NC all four years. Hope you come aboard.

    • 4horsemenrideagain - Dec 13, 2012 at 9:35 AM

      it’s quite possible that the individual known as “lane kiffin” is actually just the character seth rogan plays while in between filming movies. decide for yourself:

  3. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Straight cash homey.

  4. dickasman - Dec 12, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Guys we already have redfield on the team. His name is Daniel Smith.

  5. soundsofsuccess7 - Dec 13, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    you guys can have him. we do not want or need him..

  6. yaketyyacc - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:52 AM

    seems Manti T’eo had the same choice. sure proved to be the right one for him and Notre Dame.
    Redfield, whatever your choice, and sure would like to have you at Notre Dame, good luck to you.

    • ibleedirish - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      Redfield told me he read your comment and wanted to thank you for your kind words.

  7. dudeacow - Dec 13, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Don’t elite safeties want to play for elite defenses? USC gave up a kajillion points to Oregon at home, but ND only gave up 13 points at Oklahoma. The decision should be easy.

    • nudeman - Dec 13, 2012 at 11:43 AM

      Part of the issue here is that he also wants to play WR

      • 4horsemenrideagain - Dec 13, 2012 at 12:03 PM

        Is that holding ND back? Any discussion about him getting some reps at wideout? Being able to run, jump and have great ball skills are nice attributes at receiver.

  8. rheffero - Dec 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    I really think that this kid initially went with USC, and Kiffin, even with his history of players underachieving under his development, is a great recruiter. Tough to pass up the beach for the cornfields.

    USC fans are pretty torqued off and are already saying take him, because they think they can replace him with the safety ranked higher than him.

    Let’s put aside academics, because USC is stellar, let’s look at Teo.Honestly, does he get to be #2 on the ballot if he is playing anywhere else but ND. How many prime time games was he the feature story. It was a weakly barrage of “came back”, loss girlfriend and grandma”, academic all american, was “called” to play at ND.

    I am sorry, but if he goes to USC, he has that cloud of player payments, and if he goes to the SEC he has that cloud that he is not a real student.

    That is the selling point, excelling at ND, raises your visibility to the point where an ILB can come in second in the Heisman, despite not having 200 tackles and 20 sacks.

    • bb90grad - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      Excellent point. Ironically, because kids go to ND, somehow that legitimizes or substantiates their motivations to those outside looking in (even when we all know it’s not that clear cut).

      As Santa Nude said, it’s a variety of reasons bloggers can only guess about.

      Do like 6 footers for the secondary. Have always thought putting 5′-8″ speedsters back there invites mismatches.

  9. gtizzo - Dec 13, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Max you are aware freshman have started in the ND secondary before? At least I hope you end up at safety…BK is an offensive minded coach…he did play offense in high school? Lane Kiffin’s days at USC are numbered and another 7-5 season he gets the boot. Winning on January 7th means BK can write and sign his own check at ND.

    • bernhtp - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      Even if they have another defection or two, USC will still have a stellar recruiting class this year to add to this year’s young team. I expect them to be very good next year. Don’t count them out – Kiffin or not.

  10. dudeacow - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Here’s a good article on him:
    Sounds like a Notre Dame type of guy.

  11. irishadrian - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    To be honest, there are 10 scholarship safeties on the roster….how many more do we need ? Colinsworth is back next year from injury and maybe Slaughter if his application for a 6th season is approved by the NCAA. I think we need more DL in this 2013 recruiting class because Nix will probably leave after next year and maybe even Tuitt who you couldn’t blame for leaving if he does because for every success story like Tyler Eiffort and Michael Floyd who stayed for another year and had great seasons there’s always a chance of injury. Maybe even a corner and a receiver to add to this class but there’s not much room left. The team will be loaded again next year at every position it seems…halleluyia

  12. bernhtp - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    With Farley, Barrati, Collingsworth, maybe a returning Slaughter and others, it would be difficult for Redfield to make it into the 2-deep at safety as a freshman. He would play special teams, however, and maybe even have a shot at receiver.

  13. dutch31 - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    The main player that needs to commit is Al- Quadin Muhammad DE from Don Bosco Prep. Played on a team that lost 9 seniors that received division 1 scholarships (including our own Elijah Schumate) and a transfer of 2014 top 10 recruit Jabril Peppers. Muhammad will be a star. Don Bosco beat St Thomas Aquinas (Fla 7A state champion ) 20-10, only because all the big time recruits from Aquinas just could not block him. My friend is the O coordinator of of a HS team that lost to Don Bosco in the State Quarter finals, I asked him If Muhammad was as good as advertised? His response was; we ran the ball 40 times and didn’t run to his side 1 time. I will be happy when he commits. It seems Coaching staff is taking him for granted. I hope not

    GO IRISH!!!

  14. papadec - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    What ever happened to those two usc brothers last year? Is this another chapter in that sorry story?

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