Penn State Football: No Reason to be Upset With Silas Redd's Departure
Silas Redd drove out of State College for the final time Tuesday.
Was anybody really surprised?
When Redd met with USC coach Lane Kiffin for three hours last week and then he flew to Southern California this past weekend, everyone associated with the Penn State football program had to be on Redd Alert.
It seemed like a done deal, especially with the harsh NCAA sanctions, including a four-year bowl ban and reduced scholarships, hanging over every player and coach who calls the Lasch Football Building home.
Redd’s departure, though, was a huge blow, similar to getting punched in the gut by Muhammad Ali in his prime.
The 5-foot-10, 200-pound junior tailback wasn’t just Penn State’s best offensive player. Redd was the best player on the team – period.
He ran hard. He stood up for his teammates. He was a better-than-average interview.
And Redd was well-grounded, just like his father, also named Silas. The elder Redd is an ex-Marine who is a police officer in Stamford, Conn. He made sure the younger Redd worked hard, treated people with respect and didn’t gloat too much.
In the end, Redd weighed his options and elected to pass up a chance to remain with the scandal-plagued Nittany Lions in order to transfer to USC, which also has been on a first-name basis with NCAA officials in recent years.
Don’t be mad at Redd for trading in his blue-and-white uniform for one that is cardinal red and gold.
Tuesday’s decision had to be a tough one for Redd, and telling first-year coach Bill O’Brien of his decision in a face-to-face meeting had to be even tougher.
Remember, the NCAA gave Penn State players the option to transfer immediately and play for another school this year.
“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,” Redd said in a statement.
“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."
Near the end of the 2010 season, former Nittany Lion Evan Royster predicted that Redd would eventually surpass Royster’s career rushing mark of 3,932 yards. Redd fell 2,255 yards shy of eclipsing that record.
Redd departed with 1,678 yards, including 1,241 last season as a sophomore when he was named second-team all-Big Ten Conference.
Now, Redd will be part of a USC program that has captured multiple national titles and produced multiple Heisman Trophy winners.
A handful of his former Penn State teammates took to Twitter to thank Redd for his contributions.
- “Wish nothing but the best for Lil bro Si Redd,” senior cornerback Stephon Morris tweeted. “Not only a great promising future as a football player, but is also a class act in society.”
- “Good luck Silas! Still brothers,” redshirt junior tight end Garry Gilliam messaged.
- “Nobody quit. Nobody ran,” freshman quarterback Steven Bench tweeted. “Don’t bash a young man for making what was prolly one of the hardest decisions of his life. Best of luck to Silas. ... Can’t be the least bit mad at anyone for transferring. Everyone has to do what is best for them.”
Kiffin's pitch to Redd worked. He told Redd he would be a central figure on a USC team that is expected to contend for a Pac-12 title and a national championship.
Redd has two years of eligibility remaining, but could turn pro after his junior year by petitioning the NFL for early entry into the draft.
"We welcome Silas Redd to the Trojan Family," USC athletic director Pat Haden said in a statement. "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."
So long, Silas.
Maybe some day we will be able to enjoy watching you again – in the NFL.
- Penn State Football: National Recruiting Guru Lemming Predicts Nittany Lions Will Rebound in 5 Years - July 25, 2012
- Penn State Football: The Great Debate Over Whether the Nittany Lions Should Get the Death Penalty - June 26, 2012