Hopefully this is the last time we have to talk about Max Redfield and Notre Dame football. Over the last few days since Redfield’s dismissal from the program a lot of the national pundits have been saying that Notre Dame is going to hurt without him, what they don’t realize is that they might be better without him.
Almost every analyst has said that loss of Redfield will hurt the Irish significantly. Now it’s understandable where they are coming from because they see 23 career starts walking out the door from what will already be an inexperienced defense. You can get where they are coming from, but...
When you think about, how many of those starts from Redfield, to use a baseball term, were “quality starts”? It’s hard to think of any big plays Redfield ever made in his Notre Dame career. Big plays were few and far between for him. He started 23 games and only had two interceptions in his whole career. TWO. They aren’t losing that much in terms of production.
On top of that Redfield had his struggles off the field. He was in Kelly’s doghouse. He had another off field incident last season during Fiesta Bowl prep and had to be sent home. The guys at Irish Illustrated talked more in depth about Redfield’s standing in the program on their podcast on Monday and they went as far as calling him an “anti-leader”. (If you have the chance check out that podcast because they have some interesting stuff to say on the situation) So if all this is true, the Irish aren’t losing anything in the leadership department as well.
Devin Studstill will most likely take Redfield’s spot at starting free safety and everything reported about his play has been positive. Kelly has said he has great ball skills, which is something Redfield did not possess. because of this you might see more interceptions from Notre Dame’s free safety position in 2016. Studstill may be young, but his skills alone will help him produce while he gets a hang of the college game.
It’s getting old hearing the national media saying the loss of Redfield is going to hurt the Irish. He was experienced, but never produced. He wasn’t a leader on or off the field. This is a case of addition by subtraction. Studstill is going to be an upgrade over Redfield, it would be hard not to be.