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How Notre Dame’s Secondary Shakes Up After Redfield’s Dismissal

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With Max Redfield officially dismissed from the Notre Dame program, how does the defensive backfield look now?

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Two days after being arrested for possession of marijuana and an unlicensed handgun senior safety Max Redfield has officially been dismissed by Brian Kelly from the Notre Dame football program.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Arizona State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kelly’s decision on Redfield shouldn’t come as much of a surprised seeing that Redfield has already slipped up once before. Remember, last season he was sent home from the Fiesta Bowl for violating team rules. Redfield never lived up to his five star billing coming out of high school, but appeared to turning to the corner in fall camp this season. Now that he’s gone, what’s next for the Irish defensive backfield?

The Irish will most likely start true freshman Devin Studstill when they take the field two weeks from now in Austin,TX. Studstill was an early enrollee in January and had perhaps the best spring of any freshman. He even took some first team reps away from Redfield in the spring, so there was an expectation that he might overtake Redfield in the fall.

So far in fall camp Studstill has been limited by a hamstring injury, but since he was an early enrollee he may not be as far behind the eight ball. Secondary coach Todd Lyght has lauded Studstill for being a fast learner, so hopefully he can step right in and be a positive rather than a negative.

Lyght also described Studstill as a ballhawk that will have a lot of production and make lots of plays. Hopefully that will be the case because we haven’t seen much of that from Redfield the past three seasons.

He actually may have a higher upside than Redfield because by now we know what we were going to get with Redfield. Even though there was positive things coming out of camp about him, it was one of those situations where you had to see it to believe it. The one thing the Irish are losing with Redfield is experience.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Notre Dame RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from Studstill, we’ll see action at safety from two players coming off season ending injuries in Drue Tranquill and Avery Sebastian. Other true freshman such as D.J. Morgan, Spencer Perry and Jalen Elliot might also be pressed into action.

At the corner position Cole Luke and Shaun Crawford are the projected starters. When Crawford moves to the nickel, Nick Watkins will be slide in at corner.

There are a lot of unproven, inexperienced, but promising players in Notre Dame’s secondary. With Redfield gone we’ll now see those promising players sooner rather than later.

As for the other four players (Te’Von Coney, Ashton White, Dexter Williams, Kevin Stepherson) who were arrested with Redfield, Kelly said they’ll be disciplined internally. Devin Butler, who was arrested in a separate situation, was suspended indefinitely.