USC’s somewhat murky situation at running back is finally gaining some clarity.
As was widely expected, Penn State junior running back Silas Redd has decided to transfer to USC, immediately boosting a backfield that was lacking depth, according to multiple reports Tuesday afternoon.
Dave Ruden of the Stamford Advocate first reported the story.
USC has since confirmed reports.
“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.”
During his sophomore season in 2011, Redd ran for 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns. In the wake of the Penn State child sexual abuse scandal, the university has been placed on a four-year postseason ban and will face scholarship reductions that will severely limit their ability to recruit and keep players.
The NCAA also ruled that players would be allowed to transfer to other universities without sitting out a season as is the general rule.
“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,” Haden said. “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.”
With Redd in the backfield, the Trojans now tailback tandem with him and senior running back Curtis McNeal, who rushed for 1,005 yards and six touchdowns last season despite starting just a handful of games.
When running back Tre Madden, a converted linebacker, moved to offense in the spring, the situation at running back looked somewhat settled. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament, though, and depth behind McNeal looked thin, with sophomore D.J. Morgan being the only player with significant carries.
Redd was the focal point of the Nittany Lions’ offense last season. With the Trojans, Redd will likely be asked to do far less. USC features senior quarterback Matt Barkley, who threw a conference record 39 touchdowns last season, and two receivers who gained more than 1,000 yards in junior Robert Woods and sophomore Marqise Lee.
The Trojans season begins Sept. 1 against Hawai’i.