Blue and Gold Illustrated

Preseason 2016

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 34 of 99 PRESEASON 2016 35 ranked as the No. 3 prospect in Cali- fornia coming out of high school — had been a stellar and consistent per- former in camp. "I've been very pleased with Max Redfield. He has elevated to that level of consistent performer," Kelly said. "I hate to throw those kind of clichés around, but he's been that guy that everybody was hoping for out of high school. He's playing at that level. "He's at an elite level — the way he's practicing, the way his volume has increased where he can go all day and play at a high level." Kelly said he liked the direction Redfield was going prior to his arrest and subsequent dismissal. "It's just maturity," Kelly said. "He went through a couple of rough spots and decided that being a leader, being in his last year [it's time for the light to go on]. I've seen it over 26 years, sometimes it's just time. He's been impressive." Redfield is the third Notre Dame player to be dismissed by Kelly in the last year. Freshman wide receiver Jalen Guyton was kicked off the team last December and freshman safety Mykelti Williams was booted in the spring, both for violations of team rules. The loss of Redfield in particular is a significant blow to Notre Dame's safety position. The remaining players at safety not only have zero starts at the col- lege level, but also nobody on the depth chart — sophomore Nicco Fer- titta plus freshmen Devin Studstill, Jalen Elliott, D.J. Morgan and Spencer Perry — has played a defensive snap at Notre Dame. Third-year defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder will likely turn to Studstill, an early enrollee who par- ticipated in spring practices and im- pressed the coaching staff, to take over Redfield's position. Safety, VanGorder said, is perhaps the toughest position to pick up for young players in his elaborate NFL- style scheme. "For our middle linebackers and safeties, our system is difficult," Van- Gorder said at media day. "I've found that in pro ball the same thing [hap- pened] when I had rookies. "I'd say they're pretty typical of young players that have been thrown in there right away." The punishment for the remaining four players is still up in the air. Wil- liams had impressed during camp and figured to split carries as the third running back. Stepherson, an early enrollee freshman, was expected to see action this season at wide receiver behind Torii Hunter Jr. Coney has battled for the starting Will linebacker position, and White figured to see snaps as a reserve cornerback. BUTLER ALSO SUSPENDED In a separate incident that same night that turned to morning, se- nior cornerback Devin Butler was also arrested following a scuffle with South Bend police at the Linebacker Lounge. Butler was arrested on preliminary charges of resisting law enforcement and battery of a police officer after he allegedly hit a cop during an alter- cation outside the bar in which two women — one of them reported to be Butler's girlfriend — got into a physi- cal fight . The following day, Kelly an- nounced that Butler is suspended in- definitely. The Washington, D.C., native posted $1,000 bond the following af- ternoon. On Aug. 23, he was charged with two Level 6 felony counts of re- sisting law enforcement and battery of a police officer. According to court documents, Butler was apologetic during the ride to the St. Joseph County jail and said he was "incredibly emotional and intoxicated." Although not expected to be a key player on Notre Dame's 2016 team — Butler broke his left foot in June and wasn't expected to return until October at the earliest — the loss still stings. The 6-0½, 200-pounder played in all 12 regular-season games last year and started the finale at Stanford when regular starter KeiVarae Russell was out with a broken tibia suffered late in the previous week's win versus Boston College. Butler was scheduled to start the Fi- esta Bowl against Ohio State as well, but he broke his left foot Dec. 28, four days before the game, forcing then- sophomore Nick Watkins into his first career start. ✦ The Irish suspended senior cornerback Devin Butler indefinitely after he was arrested on preliminary charges of resisting law enforcement and battery of a police officer. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND

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