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Redfield could see action on both sides of the ball

Jul 3, 2013, 3:39 PM EDT

Max Redfield

While we haven’t turned our focus to Max Redfield yet, the five-star safety is one of the top prospects in the incoming class. As Redfield spends the summer with his teammates training and attending classes, an interesting tidbit emerged from a South Bend Tribune story about Redfield’s future with the Irish.

It appears that Redfield might spend some time on both sides of the football, the rare two-way player (if you discount Louis Nix moonlighting as a QB in spring ball). While Cam McDaniel became an emergency cornerback after Lo Wood was injured during preseason camp last year, Redfield looks like the type of athlete that is forcing Brian Kelly, Chuck Martin and Bob Diaco to find ways for him to find the field quickly.

This from the South Bend Tribune:

His hope is to be juggling football duties when the Irish open the season with Temple on Aug. 31, as a safety, a special teams stalwart (he blocked four punts for Mission Viejo last season) and — yes, a wide receiver.

“The coaches talked to me about playing both ways a little bit,” Redfield said. “They said if I could get the defense down, they might throw me in at receiver every now and then. A wide range of other schools offered me a chance to play receiver and safety as well.

“Any way I can get on the field, I want to do it. And I feel like I could contribute on both sides of the ball for Notre Dame.”

With the safety position fairly crowded after consecutive recruiting classes used to build up the depth chart, Redfield’s athleticism, combined with some road blocks on the depth chart, might make a move to offensive a smart wise to get the team’s best athletes on the field.

Redfield was recruited by many programs to be a wide receiver, and it isn’t hard to see how a 6-foot-3, standout basketball player and track star could make for an attractive wide receiver. Count this among the many storylines to follow when fall camp opens in early August.


  1. kiopta1 - Jul 3, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    If he is that talented then why not. I just don’t want him to move around so much he doesn’t fully develop at a position as he gets to his later ND years. How fast is he and how well can he catch?

    • dudeacow - Jul 3, 2013 at 9:58 PM

      4.4 speed, and he has good hands.

  2. fnc111 - Jul 3, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    I remember all the years in the past a player like this gets hyped and then red-shirts. Max might play some special teams but that’s it. You can tell its July on the message boards.

    • onward2victory - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:57 PM

      Lol classic fnc111 comment. His ability to find pessimism from any article is impressive and pretty funny.

  3. bernhtp - Jul 3, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Max has Michael Floyd type size and athleticism. If he has hands too, I would love to see him play as WR.

    • irish4006 - Jul 3, 2013 at 11:12 PM

      Who is going to throw the ball to him?

      *putting on the flamesuit, before running for cover*

    • irish4006 - Jul 3, 2013 at 11:15 PM

      We could have Samardzija, Floyd, Rudolph and Eifert line up in the offense; I would still be hard pressed to get too excited, given the QB situation we are in…

      • nudeman - Jul 4, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        Regrettably, this is correct.
        If Redfield wants to be a deep threat, he’s in the wrong offense, this year anyway.

        For those of you who say he’ll never play offense, I disagree. He’ll never start on both sides of the ball, but once he’s got his defensive assignment down, I can see him in a situational role on offense, maybe on 3rd downs or in the red zone, etc. Maybe 5-10 offensive snaps/game is titally realistic.

      • bernhtp - Jul 5, 2013 at 9:59 AM

        Floyd was more of a deep threat with Clausen throwing to him, but did set all major ND records even with a freshman/sophomore Rees at the helm. If Redfield has Floyd-type hands along with his speed, size and general athleticism, he can make a big difference on the offensive side where it is easier to contribute as a freshman, especially situationally.

        Rees will almost certainly be better this year, and God willing, will be supplanted by one of the two other better athletes.

      • nudeman - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        Reasons why Rees will be better:
        – He can’t be worse than 2011
        – He’s 2 years older and wiser (allegedly)
        – Has the confidence of coaches and teammate
        – Solid OL

        Reasons why he’ll be just as bad or worse:
        – When he should have been improving, he got progressively worse in 2011 every week
        – Actually had two #1 picks as targets in 2011 (Floyd and Eifert). Likely he has none this year.
        – He is still slow and has a weak arm.
        – The stuff about “checking us into good plays” is horseshit.

        I opine / You decide

  4. gtizzo - Jul 3, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    No surprise here. A coach with a mind for offense, and an offense in need of a play maker. There have been other recruited for defense that would have found there way to the offense. Keith you forgot during that awful commentary for the Navy game Louis Nix was a converted offensive tackle or some such thing.

    • dudeacow - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:00 PM

      And Stephon Tuitt weighs 303 yards…

  5. oldschoollyons - Jul 3, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    I enjoy reading your articles because you are almost always a sensible guy, Keith. However, it is very unlikely that Redfield will play on offense. It is true that we have Shumate and Collinsworth at safety, and we are not deep at receiver. So that makes the idea intriguing and almost plausible. But Redfield comes in as a top safety. In this era, a coach almost never will use a player both ways. Switching him away from his natural position to be a full-time receiver would probably happen only if Redfield is not good enough to be in the picture at safety. Then switching him to receiver would be akin to a shot in the dark — okay, not in the dark because he is fast and athletic and has good hands. But a long shot nonetheless.

    The kid hasn’t even had one practice yet. Before we envision him as the extremely rare two-way player, let’s let him get in a day or two of practice first. There will be plenty of time then to talk about him as a two, three or four-way player if his play warrants it. Until then, let’s not get carried away.

    • heisenbyrg - Jul 3, 2013 at 9:18 PM

      It is very unlikely he will play on both sides of the ball, but a switch to WR wouldn’t surprise me. Safety and WR are his natural positions and many schools recruited him as a full-time WR. This staff knows how to get the best athletes on the field (e.g KeiVarae Russell).

    • mtflsmitty - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:59 AM

      Sorry OldSchool. But I have to say your post is a bit odd.

      1. KA is simply re-reporting a story that appeared elsewhere, not editorializing on Redfield’s future
      2. No one is claiming he’s going to play WR full time. Redfield is quoted as saying, “playing both ways a little bit”.
      3. Shumate and Collinsworth are two of seven safeties in a log jam for the position. And Collinsworth may not even be in the top four, much less a starter.

      I love the fact BK is looking to get 5-star talent playing time ASAP. Not simply to put best guys on the field. But to keep these special talents (current and future) feeling like ND is a place they can get on the field immediately. Smart marketing by BK.

      Go BK
      Go Max
      Go Irish

      • seadomer - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:31 AM

        If Colllinsworth is healthy, I am hoping for a Zbikowski-type performance,

      • nudeman - Jul 4, 2013 at 10:27 AM

        A Zbikowski type performance would include chasing WRs with the ball across the goal line.
        Loved Tommy’s toughness, leadership and grit. Plus he’s a Chicago guy who grew up in my neck of the woods, and in fact is now a Chi Bear.

        But he was, quite frankly very average (I’m being kind there) in coverage.

      • bearcatirishfan - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:31 PM

        Yeah I kinda remember a lot of zibi getting burned on long routes

  6. yaketyyacc - Jul 4, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    ah yes, things are heating up as we get closer to Temple, who by the way is not coming to ND stadium to play the role of the “generals” to the AHarlem Globettrotterrs. Hey, if Skip Holtz could do it, why not us? and we agree with you 100% coach Kelly, Rees IS YOUR man, and don’t let anyone talk you out of it.

  7. ndnapa - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    I love the staff giving Redfield motivation to learn the defense faster so that he can get a few plays in at WR. That’s a nice carrot.

  8. 1historian - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    It seems to me that everyone likes to rain on Tommy Rees, the general theme being – he’s a top notch guy but he can’t play worth a shit.

    I disagree –

    given that by August 31 he’ll have been working as #1 QB for three months,
    given the receivers he’ll be throwing to – tight ends, wide receivers, backs out of the backfield,
    given the plethora (big words day here in Maine) of runners to carry the ball,
    given the talent and depth of the big uglies working to keep his uniform clean,
    and, most important – given the trust and respect his teammates have for him, which means they’ll bust their butts that little extra for him – I say (barring injury) he starts the whole season, we win at least 10 games and he saves at least one of them.

    If either Hendrix or Zaire takes his place because he screws up I’ll admit my mistake, but I don’t think I’m wrong.

    • irish4006 - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      I too hope that he does well and I don’t want AH or MZ to take over because he screwed up. I will not be that excited for someone who became a QB because there is no one else left to try, I want someone to step up and own it.

      TR 1.0 and 2.0 were pretty mediocre (to borrow from nude, I am being generous here), I hope for a QB who is better than that; be it TR 3.0 or AH/MZ 1.0. If we can agree that the bar was set pretty low by TR 1.0 and 2.0, it shouldn’t be that difficult for any of the three to beat that.

      Even if we don’t have anyone who can outright dazzle us, I don’t think the season is all dead given the level of talent we have on the team; it’s just that we should brace ourselves for a pretty rough ride.

      • 1historian - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:24 AM

        “Step up and own it” – good phrase. Do we have anybody like that? IMO the answer is no. Rees is the best we’ve got, I just don’t think he’s as bad as his detractors LOVE to say he is. He’ll do fine – Kelly is two seasons older too and he gets better every year.

      • 1historian - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        would you define the phrase ‘a rough ride’ in terms of a prediction of next season’s regular season record? I say 10-2 or 11-1

      • irish4006 - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:18 PM

        I do not have an intelligent, logical answer to that. Optimistic me sees 10-2 or better because I too am hoping for a better Rees. IMHO, we don’t need a super bowl winning QB under center, maybe just about *halfway* in between Brady Quinn (senior season) and TR 2.0.

        If we end up with the same old Rees, all bets are off (meaning it can easily end up being, I hate to even write it, 8 – 5 season just like 2011, i.e., rough ride).

      • irish4006 - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:38 AM

        1historian, why do you say we have no one who can step up? Hendrix has been in the system for 4 years, Zaire we all hear is very good. Rees is ahead and likely the starter against Temple and I want him to be successful or someone else to do enough to deserve a shot. My only point is that I don’t want Rees to screw up and then hand the job over to the next guy, whoever that may be. What if that doesn’t work? We are back to Rees or continue playing this musical chair throughout the year (rough ride).

    • papadec - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      1hist – I’m with you. I think it’s time to stop living in the past (turnovers of 2 years ago) and bask in the here-and-now. This is a much improved team (yes load – bama kicked our butts to end the last season). BUT, this is a team that is much improved – especially the OL. The promised land of the NC is there for this TEAM to take. They, including TR, know what they have to do GO IRISH!!!!!!!

  9. 1historian - Jul 6, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    We won the NC in 1973, We won it in 1977 and in 1988. 2 out of those 3 – 1973 & 1988 – were preceded by a butt-whipping in a major bowl game ending the preceding season.

    Unless I miss my guess this year’s seniors and juniors and sophomores have remembered January 7 every day in the weight room, at every practice, every team meeting.

    I personally have forgotten January 7, but THEY HAVEN’T, and that’s all that counts.

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