Penn State running back Silas Redd was set to meet with his family Monday night after a weekend trip to Los Angeles and could make a decision to transfer to USC as early as Tuesday afternoon, according to ESPN’s Joe Schad. Here’s an overview of the situation:
Odd man out: USC is at its limit of 75 scholarship players, meaning a spot would have to open for Redd to transfer in. There are two possible scenarios: A player is academically ineligible, or a former walk-on gives up his scholarship.
The status of incoming receiver Darreus Rogers from Carson (Calif.) has been surrounded by question marks but, as of Tuesday, Rogers suggested he would qualify, tweeting: “22 more days until im at SC.”
The Trojans received their 18th, and seemingly final, commitment for the current class Sunday afternoon, so unless there is movement in that regard there is no room for Redd in the 2012 class (which has three available spots).
The more, the merrier: If the Trojans were to add Redd, coach Lane Kiffin would breathe a little easier heading into fall camp.
USC is alarmingly thin in the backfield, down to just three scholarship running backs after the loss of promising sophomore Tre Madden (knee) in the spring. It’s such an area of need that Kiffin indicated during Pac-12 Media Day that incoming freshman Nelson Agholor would move from receiver to tailback, at least for the start of camp.
The injury to backup D.J. Morgan (turf toe) and inexperience of redshirt freshman Javorious Allen only creates more worries, but Redd -- who rushed for 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns last season -- would add insurance.
Another threat: Quarterback Matt Barkley is a Heisman Trophy candidate for a reason, and opposing defenses are likely to shape their schemes around him and USC’s potent passing attack.
That’s where the change of pace comes in.
You hear coaches talk about setting up the pass game with the run game, and it appears that will be a factor for the Trojans this season.
Redd, with his reputation alone, would keep defenses from focusing entirely on Barkley.
Competition breeds improvement: Returning starter Curtis McNeal would surely heighten his level of play with Redd coming on board, making the Trojans better as a whole.
The winner here: USC’s offense.
McNeal, a redshirt senior who ran for 1,005 yards and six touchdowns last season, would no doubt want to improve on those numbers. The addition of another capable back in Redd would create another obstacle, but the gritty McNeal has battled adversity before.