The Penn State scandal very well could have catapulted USC to national champions. For, as expected, former Nittany Lions running back Silas Redd as informed the heavily sanctioned school that he is leaving Happy Valley to join the Trojans.
Redd, who gained 1,241 yards last year for Penn State could be the final piece to a powerhouse USC squad that in some circles is a pre-season No. 1 in the country.
Here’s the irony: Redd’s transfer could be the decisive piece to a program just getting over its own sanctions from the NCAA.
Not only can Nittany Lion players transfer without sitting out a year, they can be aggressively recruited. And USC coach Lane Kiffin was especially forceful with Redd, according to reports. Remember, Kiffin was on the other end of the same rule two years ago after USC was hit with heavy NCAA sanctions stemming from the Reggie Bush scandal.
Kiffin wooed Redd with a personal visit in Connecticut. He wowed him with a Power Point presentation on the lifelong benefits of joining the Trojan family and the short-term benefits of playing a season with senior quarterback Matt Barkley.
He had backup quarterback Max Wittek, a youth football teammate of Redd, call his old buddy. He brought Redd to campus and walked him through the new 110,000-square-foot, $70 million John McKay Center. He painted a clear picture of national championship aspirations.
While some coaches said they would not recruit Penn State players, Kiffin apparently did so with vim and vigor. There are not many who would be surprised that Kiffin would make his play for any player he desires. And he did so within the rules, so there really is no room for anyone to gripe.
The Trojans’ offense needed a definitive rusher, and Redd proved he can handle a significant load.