July 31, 2012 at 6:14 PM
Southern California confirmed running back Silas Redd transferred to the school Tuesday from Penn State.
Redd's decision comes after he reportedly visited USC's campus over the weekend, and the junior running back becomes the first big name to officially transfer from Penn State since the NCAA imposed harsh sanctions against the university last Monday.
In a text statement obtained by Dave Ruden of the Stamford Advocate, Redd said the decision to leave Penn State was not an easy one. Here is the statement in full:
"This has obviously been a very busy, emotionally draining week for me and my family. As many of you know, playing football at Penn State has been a dream of mine since I was seven years old, and I will be forever grateful that this dream became a reality. This is the reason that the decision I have made is so difficult for me: I will transfer to USC to complete my education and my college football career, beginning in the 2012-2013 year. Penn State gave me a phenomenal opportunity to become part of a legendary football program. My teammates, my coaches – past and present – and the staff have provided me with a tremendous amount of guidance and support since I arrived on campus, and I can’t thank them enough for their time, their advice, and their friendship. They have given me such a strong foundation from which I can continue to grow.
The Penn State community – including the Nittany Lions’ unbelievable fan base – has also been a huge part of my incredible experience over the past two years. I have grown tremendously as a person and a player at Penn State, and the support of the community and our fans has been a big part of the reason why. I also want to extend my thanks to the media, who have embraced me and my family over my entire football career, even before I began at the college level. I think it is important to say that this situation is not something that I wished for myself, but it has happened, nonetheless. My family and I have spent many hours in recent days trying to decide what will be best for me as I look to the future – both personally and professionally.
We have weighed the pros and cons of staying at Penn State and leaving Penn State, attending USC and not attending USC, and I can honestly say that, ultimately, this decision is about so much more than football. I continue to have aspirations for my life, and as my family and I considered the bigger picture – both on and off the field – it became clearer to me that USC will be the best fit for my academic, athletic, and personal needs over the next two years. I look forward to future successes, and to the continued support of everyone around me."
If Redd would have remained at Penn State, he would have been the team's top offensive weapon. Last season, Redd led Penn State in rushing as he ran for 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns in 13 games and had a total of six 100-yard games.
Redd will be joining an already potent USC backfield which features quarterback Matt Barkley, a Heisman Trophy hopeful who threw for 3,528 yards last season. The Trojans also return senior running back Curtis McNeal, a senior who ran for 1,038 yards last season.
USC Athletic Director Pat Haden also commented on Redd's transfer.
"We welcome Silas Redd to the Trojan Family. 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," Haden said in a press release.
"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."
With the loss of Redd, it looks like Penn State will turn to sophomore Bill Belton as the team's starting running back. Belton was listed as the No. 2 running back behind Redd on a depth chart released by coach Bill O'Brien in June.