Penn State RB Silas Redd Reportedly Considering Transfer to USC
The NCAA's brutal punishment of Penn State's football program doesn't just impact their future, it impacts their current roster as well. Current Penn State players are allowed to transfer and play immediately at another institution, and other permission-to-contact restrictions have been lifted.
In other words, Penn State's current football roster is the closest thing college football has ever seen to the NFL's free agency. Players are up for grabs. Their loyalty will be tested like never before.
According to ESPN's Joe Schad, the very first defector could be the program's most crippling loss.
PSU RB Silas Redd (1,241 yards) considering transfer to USC, per sources— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) July 24, 2012
Schad followed up that tweet with confirmation on USC's end.
USC has notified PSU it is recruiting Redd, per source— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) July 24, 2012
It's no surprise that the feeling is mutual between the two parties. Redd is coming off of a 1,000-plus yard season and is one of the Big Ten's top running backs. USC is a national title contender, but running back could be considered a hole on their star-studded depth chart.
This is a match made in heaven, but the reports don't end there. Optimum Scouting's Eric Galko tweeted this just minutes after Schad broke his news.
Just heard from source who has spoken with someone close to #PennSt RB Silas Redd that there is "no chance" he transfers.— Eric Galko (@OptimumScouting) July 24, 2012
Chances are this is how it's going to be until it actually happens. Conflicting reports are to be expected from any complicated situation, and Penn State's scandal fits that bill to say the least.
I'm sure Redd, and his teammates, are facing a difficult decision. They could transfer to another school, play in postseason bowls and avoid further negative attention, but let's not forget the overlying message from all of this.
It goes beyond football.
Redd would be transferring for football reasons, but transferring schools does include actual "school" as well. He'd have to change academic programs, scenery and meet new people. I'm not saying he'd have a hard time, but it's definitely an adjustment that runs much deeper than the collegiate gridiron.
In Redd's particular case, USC would be a huge adjustment. He's from Connecticut. That's a major life decision, no matter how great you think USC's championship pedigree may make it.
These reports will include additional players in the coming days. It's already impacted Penn State's 2013 recruiting class, as 4-star cornerback Ross Douglas reneged on his verbal commitment on Monday, and 4-star defensive tackle Greg Webb did the same on Saturday.
Elite 11 quarterback Christian Hackenberg told ESPN's Mitch Sherman earlier this month that he was committed to Penn State, but that could change now that he's seen the severity of the NCAA's sanctions.
Bill O'Brien's first recruiting class as college head coach could be ravaged by Monday's announcement. Some players will avoid Happy Valley simply because they have BCS championships on their mind. Others will avoid every negative connotation attached to the university's darkest days.
This situation is messy, and it's only going to get messier. O'Brien has inherited a broken kingdom, and he is charged with putting the pieces back together.
Redd could stay, but you can bet a few will fall from Penn State's ranks before September rolls around.
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