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May 16, 2012
Dallas Jackson is the National High School Sports Analyst for Rivals. Email him your questions and comments at DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.
Mission Viejo (Calif.) High safety Max Redfield may not appreciate the description be he certainly understands why people think he is a cocky football player.
"I can be cocky on the field," he said. "It is important to stay humble off of it, but when the lights are on it is time to shine and having confidence is not a bad thing.
"I don't boast while I am on the field but I play with confidence. Some people may just judge confidence differently and see it as cocky."
The No. 2-rated safety in the country - and No. 30 overall player nationally - has a simple stance on the subject. He thinks everyone should have confidence in themselves.
"There is no downside to confidence," Redfield said. "So long as you can keep yourself in check and not get overconfident it is good because you have to play aggressive and you have to be confident in what you are doing."
As an inaugural member of the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, Redfield says that the June 22-24 event to be held at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta should be one of the best of the summer camp circuit.
"It is for the best of the best," he said. "It gets your name out there and lets to see where you are at. Those are all positive things."
The only downside, Redfield said, was that it will cut into his beach time.
"Living in Mission Viejo we are right by the beach," he said. "My friends and I like to go and chill, just relax, but I have been playing sports since I was three years old and I have to keep my priorities straight."
With double-digit college offers, Redfield has done a good job balancing his priorities through several moves.
When he was eight, following a divorce, his mother moved the family from Connecticut to California. As a freshman, when his mother remarried, he moved from Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison to Mission Viejo.
The transition was initially met with hesitancy, but Redfield said he is all the better for it.
"I am really happy at Mission," he said. "When we moved here I didn't really know anything about it but the coaching has been great and I am really happy."
The moves have toughened him and drew him closer to his mother.
"My mom is very strong," he said. "And she is an avid reader so I think I got those things from her.
"Mental toughness is key to so many things. If your head is into your lifting you will get better results. If you head is into studying game film you will see more of the opponents tendencies. You have to treat your brain like any other muscle."
Currently Redfield is reading "The Great Gatsby" for his English class. For pleasure he is reading "A Child Called 'It'".
The Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge will be another test of his beliefs in mental preparation as he said that just preparing to go and compete against the best has elevated his game.
"Going against kids from Texas and Florida will up my game," he said. "I have already been thinking about it and that is half the battle. Being confident is going to have me ready before I get there.
"I think all of those players will be very good, but I have never doubted myself."
Mike Farrell's take
Redfield is a very athletic and quick prospect with outstanding ball skills so he's perfect as a centerfielder in 7-on-7 play because he has good instincts, closes well and if the ball is in his vicinity he will come down with it. With his length he should help check some bigger receivers and he can play close to the line of scrimmage when needed as well. He has a lot of confidence and feels he won't be beaten every time he is on the field so it should be fun to watch him battle a few of the more talkative receivers out there. He will bring energy and excitement to the West squad as well as leadership.