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Thursday, July 26, 2012
Sources: USC to meet with Penn State RB

By Ted Miller


Is USC's embarrassment of riches at the skill positions about to get more embarrassing?

Could be, as the flirtation between Penn State junior running back Silas Redd and USC now reportedly involves an actual date. Coach Lane Kiffin and Redd are meeting Thursday morning about Redd transferring West and fortifying the Trojans backfield, which lacks depth.

Redd, Penn State's leading rusher last season, could form an outstanding one-two punch with senior Curtis McNeal, as both were 1,000-yard rushers in 2001. Redd averaged 5.1 yards per carry, McNeal 6.9.

At Pac-12 media day, Kiffin volunteered about 74 times that the Trojans' No. 1 question was depth in the backfield.

"Our No. 1 concern is our running back position," he said in his opening statement. "We're concerned about our depth there, and we know what we have at quarterback and receiver, and we know people are going to try to take those guys away. So, they will bring seven-man boxes and opportunities for our running backs to make plays, and we will have to do a great job at developing depth at running back."

In other words: Silas, we need you!

Most good teams try to use two tailbacks extensively, but it's possible bringing Redd in might shake up McNeal and team chemistry. Or it might not.

Redd is believed to be leaning to the idea of entering the NFL draft after this season, so leaving beleaguered Penn State for USC would give him a big stage to showcase his skills on a team expected to contend for the national title. One, by the way, with a much better offensive line than Penn State.

While any transferred Penn State player who gets a scholarship does not count against another school's scholarship total, that would not apply to USC, which is operating at 75 scholarships -- 10 below the limit -- due to NCAA sanctions. USC would have to open up a scholarship in order to accommodate Redd. Of course, it would do just that, no matter how awkward it might be, in order to get a player as good as Redd.

Joe Schad reported that a decision could come as early as Monday.