Max Redfield (FS) – Earned the ire of the Irish coaching staff and subsequently the fan base with a violation of team rules in the Desert. Thereafter? Redfield was tabbed for second-class citizen status in the wake of early enrollee Devin Studstill and his apparent uncanny acumen for the world’s most confusing defense.
Now? I’d be surprised if Redfield begins the season as anything but Notre Dame’s starting free safety. The rest is up to him…
Status: Ascending. Maybe Redfield had to hit rock bottom before seeing the light.
Drue Tranquill (SS) – Going forward in attack mode, he’s an All-American. Moving sideways, he’s All-ACC at worst. In his backpedal, turning and running in open space off the hash…?
Status: Ascending. Notre Dame could use 20 Drue Tranquill’s among it starting units…plus a strong safety that can consistently cover quality receivers
Devon Studstill (FS) – The future – and probably pretty important in the present. Studstill will play a key role next fall, but ideally it would be as the No. 1 safety off the bench. Nevertheless, his early enrollment was a smashing success.
Avery Sebastian (SS) – Will struggle to cover, but the sixth-year senior was surprisingly rugged in run support during the Blue Gold Game. Still, how much explosiveness and suddenness remains after myriad injuries during Sebastian’s decade in college ball remains to be seen. Can he hold up through September? Through Stanford?
Spencer Perry (SS) – His early enrollment should prevent Perry from getting buried in August Training Camp, but it’s hard to look at his frame, gait, and movement in space and not think “Sam Linebacker.” If a position move is in his future, a redshirt season would help. If not, special teams duties could present as a true freshman.
Nicco Fertitta (FS) – Again headed for heavy special teams duties after breaking through and earning a monogram for his work on the Irish “Run Teams” last fall.
Status: Stagnant, but that’s okay for a player already ahead of his middling projections during recruitment.