The USC Trojans have notified Penn State of their interest in talking with junior running back Silas Redd about the possibility of transferring, according to Joe Schad of ESPN.
There are a lot of factors at play here but, on the surface, it’s a move that could make sense for the Trojans.
Redd (5-foot-10, 209 pounds) is a durable and dynamic player who rushed for over 1,200 yards last season as a sophomore. He is expected to be counted on as a centerpiece for the Nittany Lions offense in 2012, but the NCAA penalties handed down on Monday gave all Penn State players the right to transfer without having to sit out a year.
It would be ironic, of course, if USC were to receive a transfer player under such circumstances considering USC had a similar “free agency” element to their sanctions in 2010 and saw several players leave, which impacted depth issues. USC head coach Lane Kiffin was no fan of that portion of the penalties at the time, but the circumstances now are different and Kiffin didn’t waste any time in making it clear he wanted to take a run at Redd.
What remains to be seen is how Redd would be able to fit on the USC roster. The Trojans are currently facing a limit of 75 players on the roster and there are no known open spots, but the NCAA is looking at the possibility of allowing Penn State transfer players to still be able to attend USC or Ohio State, two schools that are facing roster limits. By notifying Penn State of his interest in Redd, Kiffin would seem to believe that he has a spot available if Redd wants to come.
It would certainly be a timely transfer for the Trojans. When asked if he had any areas of concern for the team at the conclusion of spring ball practices, Kiffin said lack of depth at tailback and defensive line. Redd would definitely help fill one of those needs.
Now it just remains to be seen if he is interested in leaving Happy Valley. He might love Penn State, but he’s also facing the possibility of never playing for a conference title or bowl game again. If he comes to USC he would instantly be in the thick of a national championship season with an offense that would seem to fit his style of play.