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Notre Dame's Max Redfield waits his turn

SOUTH BEND – Max Redfield is learning and waiting.

The only five-star recruit yet to see regular playing time at his position for Notre Dame this season is getting to know all the things a safety has to know to contribute.

"You think you learn one defense then you realize that there are all these different defenses that we run that you have to keep in mind," Redfield said Tuesday.

Redfield was one of three five-star recruits to sign with the Irish in February.

Jaylon Smith, the former Bishop Luers star, has started every game at outside linebacker, and running back Greg Bryant played in three games before being sidelined by an injury.

"It's humbling," said Redfield, who has played on special teams every game but has yet to be in for the defense.

Redfield was moved into the second string on the depth chart for Notre Dame, which has relied on a three-man safety rotation of Matthias Farley, Austin Collinsworth and Elijah Shumate this season.

Redfield has gotten extra work during the bye week as Notre Dame (4-2) gets ready to play the team he was committed to at one time – USC (3-2) -- on Oct. 19. He said the veteran players have helped him adjust to the demands of the position.

"You learn the defenses specifically from them because you don't have as much intimate time with the coaches, where you can sit down with them and say, 'Coach, I don't understand this defense,'" Redfield said.

Redfield said he has had chances to work with the first-team defense, but that was mainly before the season started.

"It's a lot of fun," Redfield said of working with the first string. "There's great players on that defense. They are great guys. They help you out. They tell you some calls if you miss something. They are great guys, and they really feed off each other."

But before Redfield can get in a game with the first-team unit, he still has to learn. But he already has one lesson.

"You're not the greatest player," the 6-foot-1, 194-pounder said. "You're not the best player out there. You just need to understand that.

"It's been frustrating at times. You are still making mistakes when you want to play at a higher level and be in a better spot, obviously. But I've been learning a lot, and I'm in the position where I should be."

The Journal Gazette's Assistant Sports Editor Tony Krausz covers The University of Notre Dame. Krausz, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a native of St. Louis, has been assistant sports editor since October 2005. Prior to joining the JG, he worked at two papers in Mississippi covering high school and college athletics.