USC head coach Lane Kiffin took to the stage exactly a week ago at Pac-12 Media Day to address his concerns over the Trojans’ lack of depth at running back.
Fast forward a week later and Kiffin can rest a bit easier with fall camp opening in less than a week.
Silas Redd fills one of the Trojans' biggest needs for 2012.
An immediate solution is on its way to Southern California in the form of Penn State running back Silas Redd, a 1,200-yard rusher a year ago. Redd elected to transfer to USC on Tuesday.
“We welcome Silas Redd to the Trojan Family,” USC athletic director Pat Haden said in a statement. “He is an outstanding student and athlete.”
Redd will be eligible to make an immediate impact for USC without having to sit out a season, per the terms of the sanctions placed on Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Speculation began building that the Trojans were persuading Redd away from Penn State since learning about the sanctions placed on the program two weeks ago.
“When the NCAA presented the option to transfer, Silas and his family put a lot of thought and research into making this decision,” said Haden.
Kiffin flew to Redd’s home state of Connecticut last week to meet with Redd and his family, followed by Redd making a weekend trip to Los Angeles to see USC.
While in L.A., Redd reportedly spent most of his time with Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley and receiver Robert Woods.
It’s a twist of irony the Trojans could be solving their biggest depth concern by gaining a player leaving a program hit by NCAA sanctions.
It was just two seasons ago Kiffin tried to hold off programs recruiting Trojans to transfer after the NCAA declared players eligible to leave the program with no penalty when USC was placed under a two-year bowl ban and lost 30 scholarships due to NCAA violations.
"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,” said Haden. “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."
Redd will retain two years of eligibility after transferring.
It is probable he will be listed behind senior Curtis McNeal, a 1,000-yard rusher in 2011, on the depth chart entering fall camp.
It is unknown at this time how the Trojans will make room for Redd on their roster. The NCAA ruled schools under probation cannot exceed their scholarship limit.
Prior to Redd transferring, the Trojans were at their 75-scholarship limit, which means either a former walk-on will return to walk-on status, or it is believed a player will be ruled academically ineligible.