Redd Alert: Silas Flirting with USC Leaves Penn State Football Family on Edge
CHICAGO — Silas Redd must decide: Stay or go?
Few know which way the junior tailback is leaning, but several teammates and observers know the decision between Penn State and USC will not be easy.
The Redd watch continued Thursday here at Big Ten Media Days. ESPN reported he met with USC at his home in Connecticut, and he may take a weekend visit to Southern California and reach a decision soon thereafter.
“He’s got to weigh all options,” former Ohio State Heisman-winning running back Eddie George said. “Obviously his future is best for him. I totally understand why he’s looking at possibly leaving. He wants a chance to really enjoy his collegiate year and not necessarily rebuild.”
Redd, who rushed for 1,241 yards last season, is a de-facto free agent like all Penn State players in the aftermath of heavy sanctions imposed on the program earlier this week. The NCAA also ruled any Penn State player can transfer to another program by preseason practice 2013 and immediately be eligible.
Penn State coach Bill O’Brien said Thursday about 50 players have indicated they do not have an immediate intent to transfer.
His best offensive player, however, remains on the fence. If Redd chose USC, he’d be a safe bet to step in and start for a team that is lacking bodies in the backfield. He’d also be on a preseason national title favorite versus a team that doesn’t even have any chance at a national championship until 2016 because of a four-year postseason ban included in the sanctions.
“Hopefully his teammates understand that from his perspective that listen, you have four years to get it done and that’s not a lot time at all,” George said.
Two of his closest teammates sound like they do. Senior defensive tackle Jordan Hill said it’s the biggest decision of Redd’s life up to this point. Mike Mauti, a former roommate, thinks Redd will ultimately make the right decision.
And if he leaves?
“I told him it’s as simple as, 'No matter where you go, you’re still going to be at my wedding, you’re still gonna be my boy,' ” said Hill, Redd’s roommate. “ 'I’m gonna support you 100 percent.' Say he goes to a different school, I’ll tune into the TV and watch how he’s doing, and if he’s not doing good I’m gonna let him know, ‘Hey, you need to pick your game up,’ just like he’s on the sidelines with us.”
Added George: “You’d be hurt, but you would kind of understand given the situation and what his goals are in terms of what he envisioned for in his collegiate career because it’s not Silas’s fault that all this happened.
“He came to Penn State to get a great education, to play for a Big Ten championship, to get recognition, to be the starter, to be the man, and because of what’s happened, it’s going to be hard for him to accomplish that.”