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Tuesday, August 28, 2012
McNeal and Redd bond over Lakers, Yanks

By Pedro Moura

LOS ANGELES -- Silas Redd signed with USC a week before the Trojans were due to start fall camp and entered the fray immediately, so there would be a little bit of resentment directed his way by the incumbents at his running back position, right?

Wrong.

Redd, a Penn State transfer, has fit right in with USC's Curtis McNeal and Co. -- partly because of the pair's mutual love for the same sports teams.

"We just bonded right from the get-go," McNeal said Tuesday. "We like similar things. He's a Laker fan, I'm a Yankee fan.

"Once we started feeling each other out, we just bonded from then on."

It went unsaid in McNeal's comments, but McNeal is also a Lakers fan and Redd also supports the Yankees. But the fact that each player cheers for an out-of-market team apparently went a long way in bridging the gap between the two backs.

Now, for your next question: Why is Redd, a Connecticut native, a Los Angeles Lakers fan? Easy. His family.

"Connecticut doesn't have a team, so I get to pick whoever I want," Redd said Tuesday. "My brother is a big Lakers fan, so I guess me wanting to be like my big brother I became  a Laker fan.

"So that's that."

Redd couldn't help himself, either. After pausing for a second following his answer, he added one more sentence: "And Kobe Bryant's the best player in the NBA."

McNeal agrees. He also says he believes Redd will be a valuable addition to the USC backfield, and he didn't mind that coach Lane Kiffin listed the two as co-starters on Sunday's depth chart for the Hawaii game.

"I don't really care about the depth chart," McNeal said. "I just stick to my game and don't worry about where I'm at."

Quarterback Matt Barkley said Redd has picked up USC's playbook quickly and made himself an immediate asset, despite the late arrival.

"I think the combination of him and Curtis, how we’ll be able to use them this year, will be really favorable for all of us," Barkley said.