USC coach Lane Kiffin said depth at running back was his team's biggest concern at Pac-12 media day. That concern was addressed Tuesday with the confirmation that Penn State's Silas Redd will transfer west.
Redd, second-team All-Big Ten in 2011, rushed for 1,241 yards and seven TDs as a sophomore for the Nittany Lions. The explosive 209 pounder should pair nicely with Curtis McNeal, who rushed for 1,005 yards in 12 games and averaged a stout 6.9 yards per carry.
In fact, just like that, the Trojans transformed a questionable position into arguably the nation's best backfield tandem. The running backs should pair nicely with the nation's best wide receiver tandem (Robert Woods & Marqise Lee) and best QB (Matt Barkley).
A statement from USC athletic director Pat Haden:
"We welcome Silas Redd to the Trojan Family. 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."
Now... about that defensive line depth.
Redd, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining, has been allowed to leave Penn State without penalty -- he normally wouldn't be immediately eligible -- due to NCAA sanctions from the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Earlier this summer, he was named to the Walter Camp and Doak Walker awards watch lists.
USC will have to clear a scholarship spot for Redd -- it's not allowed to exceed 75 scholarship players, 10 fewer than the FBS limit, due to NCAA sanctions -- but it obviously will do what it takes to put Redd on the roster, even if that means yanking a scholarship. The most likely scenario is an existing player or incoming freshman not qualifying academically.