Penn State Football: Could Silas Redd's Struggles Deter Other Transfers?

Barry LeonardAnalyst IIIDecember 6, 2012

Oct 4, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Southern California Trojans tailback Silas Redd (25) carries the ball against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It's been said a million times before: "The grass isn't always greener on the other side." That saying was true for former Penn State running back Silas Redd in 2012. Instead of finishing his career with the Nittany Lions, he chose to leave for what was perceived as a better situation.

Current Nittany Lions need to think long and hard before making a major decision such as changing schools. Redd went from being the popular centerpiece of an offense to making fans and teammates upset with his decision.

Redd left Penn State to head to USC after the NCAA sanctions against the Nittany Lions were handed down in July.

At the end of this past season, Redd's Trojans finished with a disappointing record of 7-5. His former Nittany Lions impressed the college football world by finishing 8-4 with a depleted roster.

Redd missed out on the celebration in Happy Valley on the final week of the season when the Nittany Lions proved that hard work and determination can win out in the end.

Heading into the 2012 season, Redd was thought to be near the top tier of running backs in the country. During 2011 with Penn State, he rushed for 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns. He seemed to be set up for a monster junior year.

Instead, he struggled on an offense full of stars. Redd rushed for just 817 yards and nine touchdowns. He would have been the focal point of the Penn State offense but lost touches at USC because of the pass-heavy offense led by Matt Barkley, Robert Woods and Marqise Lee.  

No one could blame him for leaving Penn State in the wake of the sanctions, but NFL coaches could now question his loyalty and commitment when things get tough.

While Redd had a mediocre season with the Trojans, his replacement at Penn State, a no-name to start the year, had an excellent season. Zach Zwinak rushed for 1,000 yards and six touchdowns while only starting in four games.

As productive as Zwinak was in the Penn State offense, imagine the numbers Redd may have put up for the Lions in 2012.

Players thinking about leaving the school need to look no further than the 2012 successes of Matt McGloin and Allen Robinson. Both players came from virtually nowhere to put up big numbers. McGloin was one of the top passers in the Big Ten while Robinson finished as the leading B1G receiver.

The fact that Redd left and struggled while Penn State players flourished should show current players that leaving the Nittany Lions may not be the best choice.

Sure, Penn State players won't play in a bowl game for the next three years, but does that really matter? Players can still have success and be groomed for a career in the pros. Head coach Bill O'Brien has NFL experience and brings that knowledge to Penn State, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

The temptation to leave and go to a possible better situation will certainly be there for many players and there are many factors that go into the decision of leaving Penn State or not.

As current players are making that decision, the season of Silas Redd must be considered.