Four-star WR Michael Redding III on Notre Dame ceasing his recruitment: 'It's a business'

Carter Karels
South Bend Tribune

FRISCO, TEXAS — Four-star wide receiver Michael Redding III reached a decision in May.

After his planned June 21-23 official visit to South Bend, Redding would verbally commit to Notre Dame.

Irish offensive coordinator Chip Long and running backs coach Lance Taylor trekked to Redding’s school, IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., on May 3 during the evaluation period.

Redding then scheduled his official visit to South Bend — or so he thought.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder verbally committed to Miami on Sunday — the day he arrived to compete in this week’s The Opening Finals at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. He never arrived to Notre Dame for an official visit like he hoped.

“There was miscommunication from Notre Dame on that,” Redding told the Tribune. “The week I was supposed to take the official visit, I hit them up. They told me they were going to talk to me after Memorial Day. They never hit me up after Memorial Day. I received no contact from them.

“That’s when I knew I wasn’t going there.”

Schools losing interest in recruits — and in turn ceasing communication with them — is a common practice in college football. Notre Dame passing on Redding might speak to its confidence in recruiting the position this cycle. Rivals ranks Redding as its No. 6 receiver and No. 37 overall player in the 2020 recruiting class, while 247Sports slates him No. 62 at the position and No. 355 overall.

Notre Dame looks to add three receivers this cycle. The Irish added commitments from Jordan Johnson in April and Jay Brunelle last week. Omaha (Neb.) Burke’s Xavier Watts leans to Notre Dame and could commit soon.

Watts almost committed during his June 21-23 official visit to South Bend. Redding would have pulled the trigger if he took the trip, he said.

“That was the school I was planning to go to,” Redding said of Notre Dame. “But things didn’t work out that way. It was frustrating, but in my mind it’s a business. It’s going to be like that sometimes. I didn’t take it to heart. I understood that I had other schools to look at.”

As a three-star recruit, Brunelle ranks lower than Redding. 247Sports considered Brunelle as its No. 127 receiver and No. 728 overall player. The Shrewsbury (Mass.) St. John’s High product, though, performed well in front of ND’s coaching staff at last month’s Irish Invasion. The Irish offered Brunelle following the camp.

Redding reported his Irish offer on Feb. 26. He left his March 28 unofficial visit in a good place with Notre Dame. But the Irish eventually chose Brunelle — and maybe Watts, another three-star recruit — over Redding.

Notre Dame stopped communicating with Redding until after the official visit weekend, he said. They reached out and wished him good luck before last week’s Rivals Five-Star Challenge in Atlanta.

“That’s something that I think a lot of athletes are starting to learn as they hit the recruiting process: it’s a business,” Redding said. “Football is no longer going to be fun anymore. It’s going to be about how much you produce. It’s going to be about how you are going to make money for the coach you are playing for. You start realizing that, like I said, it’s not going to be fun anymore.

“It’s turning into a business.”

Redding had the grades for Notre Dame and the prowess to receive offers from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Florida State and others. He participated in the Rivals Five-Star Challenge and is at The Opening Finals. Those events only invite the nation’s best athletes to compete.

Barring a major change, Redding will not consider Notre Dame again. The Irish will hope they made the right decision.

“I’m going to treat everything like it’s a business,” Redding said. “Every time I go out onto the field, it’s going to be like a job interview. It’s about how I present myself. That’s how I’m going to look at things a lot more.

“They actually gave me more motivation. They make me want to be better than what I am and pushing me to be the best I want to be.”

Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy’s Michael Redding III, a 2020 wide receiver, committed to Miami on June 30, 2019.