LOS ANGELES -- Silas Redd has had about 10 hours of on-field experience for the USC Trojans since arriving on campus, but he's already impressing his coaches.
The junior running back, a ballyhooed transfer from Penn State, has settled in nicely to a No. 2 role in the Trojans' backfield, where he stands to see immediate playing time come USC's Sept. 1 opener and could also challenge for Curtis McNeal's starting spot.
"He's improved every day, and he impresses you every day on and off the field," running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu said Thursday, after Redd's fourth practice with the team. "He runs well, and now he's learning all our concepts and picking them up pretty quickly."
Redd has broken a few big runs in practices so far, but that's not what Polamalu and others have found so impressive. He has been remarkably consistent for a guy who has been on campus less than a week, making fewer mistakes than many second- and third-year players and generally acting with poise.
He got hit heavily by middle linebacker Lamar Dawson during Thursday's practice and got up while the defensive players were yelling, "Welcome to USC," from the sidelines.
And he went right back at it a few plays later. Maybe it's because there aren't too many former starters who have transferred to USC in recent years, but it's rare to see a new player transition so quickly into a new system.
Maybe the fact that Redd ran a pro-style offense at Penn State this spring with new coach Bill O'Brien has helped too, as Redd himself mentioned earlier this week.
But USC's other running backs have also helped him out too, including McNeal.
"He's been great," Redd said of the senior with whom he's competing. "He's kind of been playing that big brother role, taking me under and really helping me with the playbook and schemes and different types of techniques.
Redd says he believes Polamalu is "one of the best running back coaches ever."
"He's really been helping me with my technique and my overall game," Redd said.