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 Lebron James is The Chosen One, on Tuesday Redd became The Sensible One. USC’s new tailback waited a respectable mourning period (eight days) before announcing he would transfer from Penn State. Back in State College at some point, hands were no doubt shaken, hugs were shared, luck was wished. Sure, it was painful for Penn State’s former tailback to leave a place he always to play. But in the end he had to realize it was no longer the place he could play.
Before adding Redd became a possibility, Morgan was in line to be the No. 2 tailback behind McNeal. Finally healthy after a long, slow recovery from knee surgery, the speedy Morgan was a 2012 breakout candidate. Now, he might be relegated to a mop-up role. Not that Morgan is conceding anything. “It doesn’t affect me,” he said of Redd’s arrival. “I came here knowing I was going to have to compete. No matter who’s here, I still expect that I’m going to compete for the starting job.”
For USC, Redd is a critical pickup. Aside from defensive line depth and talent this fall, running back depth was the No. 1 concern for Lane Kiffin’s crew. Senior Curtis McNeal led the charge last season with the first 1,000-yard season for a Trojan running back since Joe McKnight in 2009. D.J. Morgan and Javorious “Buck” Allen are backups this year along with freshman wideout Nelson Agholor.
McNeal averaged almost seven yards a carry; Redd averaged 5.1. McNeal scored six touchdowns in 145 carries; Redd scored seven in 244. That doesn’t go to show that Redd won’t be effective at USC — he’ll almost certainly be at least a fantastic No. 2 back for the Trojans. But to expect him to immediately unseat McNeal is farfetched.