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July 24, 2012

The latest with USC and Silas Redd




After the NCAA announced sanctions against Penn State Monday morning, programs across the country were given permission to inquire about and accept immediate transfers from the Nittany Lions.

The USC football program knows about this "free agency" policy all too well, having gone through it back in 2010 after being hit with its own NCAA sanctions.

Now, in an ironic twist, the Trojans could address their needs in the backfield and potentially add a 75th or even a 76th scholarship in 2012 by bringing in PSU star running back Silas Redd.

The 5-foot-10, 200-pound Redd is a true junior out of Norwalk (Conn.) who rushed for over 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns in 2010.

News broke Monday night that USC had contacted Penn State about Redd.

According to our sources, the interest between Redd and USC is mutual, and if there was one school Redd would prefer to transfer to, it would be USC.

The Patriot-News reached out to Redd's father, Silas Redd Sr., via text asking him, "Is Si really considering USC?''

Silas Redd Sr. texted back: "Still sifting through it all!''

Redd's brother Matt told the Hartford Courant, "Going to continue to weigh options and figure out what's best for the program, and Silas is going to figure out what's best for him himself with the program."

Silas Redd has not yet made a statement in the media or on Twitter regarding the rumors of his potential transfer. He did, however, start following USC quarterback Matt Barkley on Twitter Tuesday morning.

When USC head coach Lane Kiffin was asked about interest in Redd at Pac-12 Media Day, he declined to comment.

"We can't speak on any kids on their roster," Kiffin said. "They're just like high school kids."

There are several connections between current USC players and Silas Redd.

In January of 2010, Redd played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl with current Trojans Robert Woods and Demetrius Wright. USC running back D.J. Morgan was on the roster but did not play in the game due to injury.

Former USC football players Markeith Ambles, Dillon Baxter and Kyle Prater were also on that Army Bowl roster.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Max Wittek grew up in Connecticut before coming out to California and playing at Mater Dei.

Wittek and Redd both played on the same Pop Warner football team in the small town of Norwalk.

"Four of us from a Pop Warner team in Connecticut are all in college football," Wittek said. "Kevin Pierre-Louis is at Boston College at linebacker, Silas Redd the running back at Penn State, Todd Hunt at Fresno State at defensive end and myself were all on the same team. It is crazy."

Redd and Wittek have not played together in years, but they still keep in touch.

"I talk to him a bunch," Wittek said. "I think like anyone in his situation, he has some things to go over in terms of does he want to stay or does he want to leave. You can't really blame him when such sanctions come down.

"But knowing him, he will make the right decision, what is best for him."

When asked about wanting to play with Redd at USC, Wittek was all for it.

"Of course. From what I remember, he is one of the best running backs I have ever seen," Wittek said. "He is quick, powerful and a great guy to have on the team. Another guy that I feel like would add to our team chemistry and you can't look past his on-field production.

"He is one of the best in the NCAA and an addition like that would be amazing."

If Redd did decide to transfer to USC, he would count towards the class of 2012. All but one 2012 signee has by cleared by the NCAA for enrollment, with wide receiver Darreus Rogers still an academic question mark. Silas could take his spot in the 2012 class, making Rogers an early enrollee candidate for the 2013 class in January.

USC has 18 spots available in the 2013 class with 16 verbal commitments already on board. Friday, Louisville (Ky.) four-star defensive end Jason Hatcher could make that 17 verbals commitments for USC in the 2013 class.

The NCAA is considering allowing teams to go over scholarship limits in 2012 if the school reduces the number of scholarships proportionally the following season. While under sanctions, USC has a total scholarship limitation of 75.

Note: The NCAA clarified Tuesday afternoon that schools under sanctions such as USC cannot go above previously determined scholarship limits. So the Trojans could not take Redd if it meant going to 76 scholarships.

Stay tuned to USCFootball.com for more breaking news regarding the status of Silas Redd.

Ryan Abraham is the publisher of USCFootball.com. You can follow him on Twitter @insidetroy.

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