Notre Dame is widely considered to be the popular favorite to land 5-star safety Max Redfield's commitment, and while they still have a good shot, one can't help but notice that USC is making yet another rally for the talented recruit.
Remember, Redfield was, at one time, a USC commit before he decommited from the Trojans, so the two parties have a history together,, and the safety obviously liked USC enough to originally commit.
Since decommiting, Notre Dame has skyrocketed to the top of his interest list, but after a recent visit to USC, things are starting to get a bit interesting.
Ryan Abraham of USCFootball.com reports on Redfield's visit:
This past weekend, Redfield took, in his words, a long awaited official visit to USC.
"The USC visit I just took was fun," he said. "I have two teammates that I used to play with that are up there right now. One of my hosts was Tre Madden who went to Mission Viejo and we had a lot of fun together
For those of us who thought that Notre Dame was the hands-down favorite, or even a lock, to land Redfield, his quote here, per Abraham's report, really goes a long way toward disproving that theory:
"Pretty much it is between Notre Dame and USC right now," Redfield said. "I am planning on making a decision on Jan. 5 at the Under Armour Game. I am torn 50/50 right now. I honestly don't know where I am going to go to college."
Apparently, this visit to USC had a huge impact on Redfield's recruiting process, and at the very least, it's safe to say that Notre Dame is no longer the overwhelming favorite that we thought it was.
This visit proved to be huge for the Trojans, and it's something that the Fighting Irish are going to have to worry about.
That's not to say that Notre Dame doesn't have a great chance to land Redfield anymore, but is it possible that the odds went from extremely high to 50/50 in just one visit? If you believe what Redfield said via Abraham's report, then the answer to that question should be yes.
Remember, Redfield is from Mission Viejo, Calif., which gives USC a gigantic "home-state advantage."
USC is just under an hour's drive away from Redfield's home. Notre Dame, on the other hand, would require a plane ride halfway across the country to Indiana. Or, according to Google maps, it would take Redfield about 30 hours to travel 2,100 miles to Notre Dame by car.
The Trojans can provide Redfield with an elite-caliber program that's extremely close to home. He'll be closer to his friends and family, and in general, he'll be able to remain within his comfort zone. It's easy to forget, but he's just a high school senior. Going away to college is hard enough, let alone moving halfway across the country.
Even though USC struggled this season, Lane Kiffin has done a great job recruiting and can offer Redfield the chance to join a 2013 class that features five 5-star recruits. It's also one that he knows well, considering that he used to be a part of it.
It was a rough year for USC, but the future looks bright, so the Trojans can still offer Redfield the opportunities to win that Notre Dame can.
The kicker is that he'll be closer to home, and the weather will be presumably nicer.
His visit to USC apparently reignited a lot of his interest in the Trojans. That's a great thing for Kiffin and his staff, because it really hurt Notre Dame's chances of landing the 5-star safety.