Silas Redd is switching coasts and trading in blue and white for cardinal and gold. The junior running back and consensus best player on Penn State’s offense will transfer to the University of Southern California.
This news was made official minutes ago- first reported by Dave Ruden from Redd’s hometown paper and ESPN reporter Joe Schad- after a week long courtship by USC that saw head coach Lane Kiffin fly across the country to meet with Redd and his family at their Stamford, Connecticut home. Redd also visited USC’s campus this past weekend.
Redd was noticeably absent from a player announcement last Wednesday morning that consisted of thirty players reaffirming their decision to remain with the program. Redd was also replaced by linebacker Michael Mauti as a representative at Big Ten media day in Chicago that he was originally supposed to intend.
A five star recruit out of high school, Redd lived up to his billing during his first two seasons in blue and white. He contributed immediately as a freshman and had a breakout season last year that saw him rush for 1241 yards and score seven touchdowns while averaging 5.1 yards per carry.
Kiffin nabbed a great player at the expense of Penn State, but this is not the time to be mad at Redd for leaving. Redd could have been a legend if he stayed, but made the decision that he thought was best for him. He will hopefully be remembered as a talented running back who often dazzled during his two seasons with the Nittany Lions and had fans dreaming of him one day hoisting a Heisman trophy.
As Redd heads west to join what could be a scary offense with quarterback Matt Barkley and wide receiver Robert Woods, the focus for Penn State shifts back to the running backs on the current roster. Sophomore Bill Belton, who made the position switch to running back this spring, looked good in the Blue-White game and will certainly have an increased workload. There is still no news on junior running back Curtis Dukes or freshman back Akeel Lynch in terms of their commitment to the program. Both will be important in terms of depth.
This transfer news brings a rather crazy story to an end. Never again will Redd line up in the backfield at Beaver Stadium, shake a few defenders, do his signature spin move, and explode for a big gain. That’s a shame, but the choice is also understandable given the NCAA Sanctions.
It’s been fun, Silas. Hopefully we’ll see you eluding tacklers on Sundays in a year or two.
Update: 6:01 p.m.- Following the news of Redd’s transfer, he released the following statement. It can be found below:
This has obviously been a very busy, emotionally draining week for me and my family. As many of you know, playing football at Penn State has been a dream of mine since I was seven years old, and I will be forever grateful that this dream became a reality. This is the reason that the decision I have made is so difficult for me: I will transfer to USC to complete my education and my college football career, beginning in the 2012-2013 year. Penn State gave me a phenomenal opportunity to become part of a legendary football program. My teammates, my coaches – past and present – and the staff have provided me with a tremendous amount of guidance and support since I arrived on campus, and I can’t thank them enough for their time, their advice, and their friendship. They have given me such a strong foundation from which I can continue to grow.
The Penn State community – including the Nittany Lions’ unbelievable fan base – has also been a huge part of my incredible experience over the past two years. I have grown tremendously as a person and a player at Penn State, and the support of the community and our fans has been a big part of the reason why. I also want to extend my thanks to the media, who have embraced me and my family over my entire football career, even before I began at the college level. I think it is important to say that this situation is not something that I wished for myself, but it has happened, nonetheless. My family and I have spent many hours in recent days trying to decide what will be best for me as I look to the future – both personally and professionally.
We have weighed the pros and cons of staying at Penn State and leaving Penn State, attending USC and not attending USC, and I can honestly say that, ultimately, this decision is about so much more than football. I continue to have aspirations for my life, and as my family and I considered the bigger picture – both on and off the field – it became clearer to me that USC will be the best fit for my academic, athletic, and personal needs over the next two years. I look forward to future successes, and to the continued support of everyone around me.
Silas Redd Jr.
Update: 6:35 p.m.- USC Athletic Director, Pat Haden has released a short statement regarding Redd’s transfer. It can be found below:
“We welcome Silas Redd to the Trojan Family. He is an outstanding student and athlete. When the NCAA presented the option to transfer, Silas and his family put a lot of thought and research into making this decision.
At USC, we’ve seen both sides of this issue, having lost a number of players to transfer due to our NCAA sanctions in 2010. But Lane Kiffin and his coaches would not be doing their job if they did not try to improve our team every single day. There is a specific need here for a player like Silas Redd, so Lane and our coaches recruited him within the guidelines set up in this instance by the NCAA.”