Silas Redd has left Penn State in light of the NCAA’s heavy sanctions stemming from one of the biggest scandals in the history of sports, and now a whole new set of floodgates might be on the verge of opening. But don’t look for Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans to keep collecting former Nittany Lions. They’ve got Redd on board and now Kiffin says they’re done poaching.
Lane Kiffin joined Steve Mason and John Ireland on 710 ESPN in Los Angeles to discuss Silas Redd, who left Penn State after the sanctions were announced to join USC. He also touched on what Redd’s presence does to the USC’s backfield makeup, the differences between Redd and fellow back Curtis McNeal and whether he’s spoken to other Nittany Lions looking to transfer.
On recruiting Penn State running back Silas Redd away from Penn State:
“Well, it was pretty easy. We just presented a chance for him to come to USC, to graduate from USC, to come be part of the Trojan family, and obviously to play football here as well. And there was a very specific need for him, at his position, to come in here. And we feel like we have a bunch of great players, high-character guys around him. And after researching him, before we ever went there we knew that’s what he was. And that was the family that he comes from. So I think that’s why they really hit it off. I think our players, as Silas came out here he really fit in with them and realized this was the place for him.”
On if this is an indication they’ll use multiple backs:
“Well, that’s where we’d like to be. When we’ve been at our best over the 10 years here, it’s been when we’ve had two really good running backs that are able to keep each other healthy and play off of each other. And in ’04 and ’05, those two seasons which I think were our best offensive seasons, it was because Reggie [Bush] and LenDale [White] were there together. So hopefully this will be the case this time.”
On the differences (or lack thereof) between Curtis McNeal and Silas Redd:
“I think they’re very similar, actually. Silas is a little bit taller but they both run very patient, very physical, very tough, low to the ground. Hard for the first guy to bring down. So I think there’s a lot of similarities between the two. Guys don’t always have to be different like thunder and lightning. A lot of times you may have two guys that are similar but it allows them to stay rested and stay fresh throughout the season.”
On the learning curve as they rush to get Redd up to speed:
“Well when he gets here we’ll have special time added in to work with him on and off the field. But what’s going to help us in this is normally we’re dealing with high-school kids and having to transition them. This is a guy already over 1,000-yard rusher in major college football. So he’s already been in college systems, so I think it’ll be a lot easier for him than it is for high-school kids to adjust.”
On if they were in communication with any other Penn State players:
“We did have people reach out to us but we did not reach out to them. And so we have not recruited anybody else from there. This was a specific need for one guy who we’d think is a great player who’d fit in, too — not just as a player but as a person. We had to study who he was to make sure he was highly competitive, no ego, because otherwise it wouldn’t have worked to bring him in with this group of kids that we have.”