ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Notre Dame added a third five-star prospect to its recruiting class on Friday when Max Redfield committed to the Irish during the Under Armour All-American Game at Tropicana Field.
The success of Notre Dame this season was a big factor in Refield's decision. "It definitely brought them up a little bit on my list of schools. They've had a lot of success this year. A lot of great players and great coaches as well."
Redfield, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound safety from Mission Viejo, Calif., originally committed to USC in July but backed off that pledge after making an official visit to Notre Dame in October.
With the addition of Redfield to a class that already included running back Greg Bryant and linebacker Jaylon Smith, the Irish matched their five-star haul of 2008, a school best since Rivals.com began ranking recruits in 2001. That class included quarterback Dayne Crist, wide receiver Michael Floyd and tight end Kyle Rudolph.
Rivals.com ranks Redfield as the third best safety in the country. His performance during the week of practice leading up to Friday's game could result in a big bump in that profile.
"He's making a claim to be the No. 1 safety in the country," said Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst Woody Wommack. "It's basically him and Leon McQuay at this point."
Redfield, who earned the start at free safety for Team Nitro, was dominant all week at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Buena Vista. In a game situation, Redfield's performance might end up being even more impressive.
"This week he's looked like a top guy," Wommack said. "He makes plays. There's a few chances where he's had opportunities to make big hits (in practice) but they're not letting him go full speed."
For Redfield, the decision wasn't an easy one.
He bounced back and forth between USC and Notre Dame, eventually settling on the Irish.
"I tried to take in all aspects that will affect me throughout college, like academics, athletics, the coaches that I'd be around all the time and the players I'd be around," Redfield said Thursday. "Pretty much everything."
Redfield was the second player to commit to the Irish during the week. Four-star running back Tarean Folston of Cocoa, Fla., verbally pledged to the Irish on Thursday, choosing Notre Dame over Florida State and Oregon.