Redd Sees USC Colors; Penn State Players Take Flight

Silas Redd has taken Lane Kiffin up on his offer and will spend at least a year with USC before he decides whether or not to forego his last season of eligibility and turn pro. Silas Redd has racked up nearly 1800 total yards in his college career while at Penn State and will join a Trojan team that is absolutely loaded offensively. Lead by Matt Barkley and a core of WR’s that could land spots on more than a few NFL teams, Redd will look to help out in the rushing game as well as helping out Barkley with his Play Action effectiveness. The Trojans had courted Redd in a variety of ways, most indelibly to publicly announce at the Pac-12 Media Day that the team was weak in the backfield and they needed to switch the position of a highly recruited WR to TB in order to bolster their depth. With Redd now in his fold, Kiffin can set aside his need to rotate the backfield and will have a primary back who can keep defenses honest in the run game.

Barkley is the leading candidate for the Heisman entering the season, and with Redd his offense will be that much more effective. Outside of Clemson’s Walker, Robert Woods and Marquis Lee are the two top receivers in the FBS. However with the pass first offense that the Trojans operate it’s tough to imagine that Redd can do anything but hurt his draft stock if he decides to leave after this year. His 1240 yards in the Big 10 are far more impressive in that defense-strong conference than if he were to do the same in the Pac 12.

Silas Redd will get drafted no matter where he plays, but what-if questions may linger. Could Penn State have ruled the Big 10 in the face of crushing penalties?  Did Redd make the best character decision?  His ability to contribute to USC might hurt him if the Trojans underachieve. Silas Redd’s numbers should come up in the pass catching game where he only caught nine passes last year for 40 yards, but how does that help him prove that he is a three-down back.

If USC goes on to win the National Championship in January then Redd will have made the right decision. But that would entail beating an SEC team, which history suggests is unlikely to occur. The SEC has absolutely owned the Pac-12 over the past few years, possessing an 8-1 record in BCS title games.  The only reason the SEC has a loss in the title game is because last year two SEC competed in the game.  The USC-style spread attack has proven ineffective to SEC-type defenses that regularly produce DL starters to the NFL.  The last non-SEC team to win the national title was Texas – who defeated USC in 2006.

Silas Redd will have a lot of questions to answer when he gets to Indy.  Hopefully he thought it through when he was staying at Matt Barkley’s house.

The other player to leave for the west was reserve linebacker Khair Fortt who decided to go to Cal.