Penn State RB Silas Redd would be a welcome addition to a Trojans' team thin at running back.
By RAHSHAUN HAYLOCKFS West
It's become free agency in college football in light of the sanctions handed down on the Penn State football program earlier this week.
USC head coach Lane Kiffin met with Penn State running back Silas Redd in Connecticut for several hours, according to multiple reports.
As far as depth goes, running back is the No. 1 concern for the
Trojans entering the 2012 season. USC has just three scholarship tailbacks on the roster, senior Curtis McNeal, redshirt sophomore D.J. Morgan and redshirt freshman Buck Allen. USC suffered a huge blow during spring practice when Tre Madden, who was converted from linebacker, went down untouched with a season-ending knee injury.
Redd, who rushed for 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore in 2011, could join McNeal to give the Trojans two 1,000-yard rushers heading into the fall.
At Pac-12 Media Day on TUesday, Kiffin would not speak on Redd specifically, but said he would certainly be open to any ideas that could help his team.
"I would think anybody in the country would," Kiffin said. "As a head coach if you're not investigating situations where players could potentially play for you, you're not doing a very good job. You better look into everything. I would just consider that doing our job.
"I would never view it as we were taking a player off of Penn State's roster or anybody's roster because whoever it is that's coming to us, he's going somewhere. So, if we don't do it, he's going somewhere else anyway so it's not like we'd be the only team doing that."
According to reports, Kiffin wanted to make sure Redd knew he would be embraced by his future USC teammates, should he elect to transfer.
Quarterback Matt Barkley echoed that at Pac-12 Media Day on Tuesday.
"Giving their track record of recruits, I trust that in their judgment that they'd make the best decision," said Barkley of the coaching staff. "So, if somebody's added to our roster from another school I'd be open to it."
Redd is expected to make a decision by early next week.
Before that decision, he could make a visit to the USC campus this weekend.
USC is already at their limit of 75 scholarships and unlike other NCAA schools, cannot go over that limit to accept a Penn State player because of USC's own NCAA sanctions. A scholarship could open up if incoming freshman Darreus Rogers is deemed academically ineligible.