Whether or not you agree with the recruiting being opened up for any and all Penn State players, you have to tip your hat to USC for going out and cementing their status as a near consensus pre-season top team in the country, in this instance getting running back Silas Redd to join the fray.
Redd joins the USC crew that already features All-Americans Matt Barkley, Robert Woods, and Marqise Lee, and it could legitimately give USC the most feared offense in college football in a long, long time. Of course, there is nothing perfect about any team when the players hit the field in the fall, but USC’s foursome is as good if not better than any I have seen in my time of evaluating draft prospects.
All four players could eventually wind up being first round picks, but I would say it’s almost a foregone conclusion that they are all going to be top 64 picks when their time to enter the NFL comes. In the case of Redd, this was the right decision for his future. There was nothing left to play for at Penn State except to stick with the guys who are standing up for the football program. I wouldn’t have faulted him for staying either, but how could you pass up this kind of opportunity? USC knows what it’s like to be on both sides of this particular fence:
“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.”
Matt Barkley, USC’s senior leader and star quarterback had an opportunity, like Redd, to transfer away from USC and play for any other school without having any penalty. But, due to the fact that he’d always dreamed of playing for SC and the fact that one day, he might have a chance to compete for a national title, Barkley decided to stay. Redd and his other former Penn State teammates have or had no such luxury. Penn State can’t compete in the postseason for the foreseeable future, their recruiting is severely limited, and everything in that program has changed. In all honesty, it’s the perfect time for players to leave and get a fresh start, and I don’t blame them for doing so.
Especially in the case of Silas Redd, who has exceptional talent and a really bright future in football. While many including myself would have admired him for staying with Bill O’Brien and all of his former Penn State teammates, but I am absolutely ecstatic to see how he does with USC for one or two years, competing for national titles with Barkley and the bunch.
Along with Redd, former PSU quarterback Rob Bolden has also decided to transfer, and he will also go to a national title contender at LSU. This is not Bolden’s first time trying to get out of Penn State, but last time, he was turned down by head coach Joe Paterno for a request to be released from his scholarship.
He now joins Zach Mettenberger, a potential breakout player in the SEC in the quarterback competition for the Tigers, but he could also serve a similar change of pace role that was vacated this past year by Jordan Jefferson.
Penn State also lost tight end Kevin Haplea, who is transferring to Florida State. As y0u can tell by the mere names of the schools these kids are transferring to, the players are no slouches. Penn State is losing some of its best athletes because of this situation, which could take much longer than anticipated to recover from.