Sayonara Silas: Redd to Leave Penn State Football Program for USC
Updated at 8:40 p.m.
Two more Penn State players have decided to transfer, according to published reports.
Junior tight end Kevin Haplea will leave the program, according to the Reading Eagle. And Rob Bolden, the junior quarterback, is expected to report to Wednesday's practice at LSU, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Haplea is headed to Florida State, per the Penn State football website, Lions247.com.
Four Penn State players have left the program since the NCAA imposed significant sanctions on it last week. Several more players, including linebacker Khairi Fortt, kicker/punter Anthony Fera, linebacker Mike Hull and running back Akeel Lynch, are currently mulling other offers.
Earlier at 5:38 p.m.
Penn State was dealt a major blow to its 2012 season Tuesday when junior running back Silas Redd, the offense's most dynamic threat, decided to leave the program, according to multiple reports.
Redd, who rushed for 1,241 yards a season ago, is headed to Southern Cal, where he spent the weekend visiting.
Penn State coach Bill O'Brien met with Redd on Tuesday for one last pitch to sway him to ride out the upcoming season in Central Pennsylvania.
It wasn't enough.
His departure leaves the backfield without much experience. Sophomore Bill Belton, a converted wide receiver, will likely sit atop the depth chart when preseason practice kicks Aug. 6.
O'Brien said last week at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago that most of his core group of players will remain with the program through 2012, and this past weekend, several top-flight prospects in the Nittany Lions' 2013 recruiting class reaffirmed their commitment as well.
It was an encouraging string of events for a program sacked with significant NCAA sanctions, including a four-year postseason ban and a reduction of 40 scholarships over four years.
Morale for a program eager to turn the page peaked Tuesday morning, when more than a few thousand fans showed up outside the team's practice facility before an early workout. They cheered each player as he arrived, creating a human tunnel of sorts leading up to the entrance.
They were hoping to cheer for Redd. Hours later, they learned he was gone.