Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Redd an immediate, welcome addition
By Pedro Moura
It's only his fourth day on campus at USC, but new Trojans running back Silas Redd is rooming with his Pop Warner teammate, backup quarterback Max Wittek, and lining up on offense alongside his high-school all-star game teammate, star receiver Robert Woods.
Those two are making his unprecedented week-long transition from Penn State to USC go a little bit smoother. Also helping: Redd's ability on the football field, where he impressed immediately during the Trojans' camp-opening two-hour practice Monday night.
"He fits right in," Woods said of his new teammate, a 1,200-yard runner in 2011. "A couple of the guys already know him, but he fits right in like he's been here for a while already."
USC coach Lane Kiffin said he thought the addition of Redd escalated the sense of competition at the running back position -- especially with incumbent starter Curtis McNeal, who was going to have the No. 1 job going away until Redd's arrival.
"I think you're seeing a combination of things with Curtis," Kiffin said. "We would've seen an improved Curtis anyway, because Curtis has really grown up in his approach to the game and his approach to life.
"But this just pushes him a little further. We all need competition. And, adding that, I thought Curtis looked great today."
Kiffin also said he would have hesitated to add just any player to his roster a week before camp started but did not have an issue with Redd because of his character and prior relationship with current players.
"A big part was not just the player that you see on film, but it also had to fit right," Kiffin said. "He's a very competitive, great kid, and that's the only way this was going to work. I believe that our core of great players are really good kids that love competition and love to work.
"If he was not like that it would not have worked. These guys would not have accepted him."
One other expected byproduct of Redd's arrival: Highly touted freshman Nelson Agholor will be playing wide receiver, as he and Kiffin had hoped all along. But Kiffin was planning to play him at running back this season if he needed another back.
"I think Nelson was probably as happy as anybody about Silas coming," Kiffin said. "This way, he gets to go out and play receiver."