It's happened. Penn State running back Silas Redd has decided to transfer to USC, according to multiple reports Tuesday afternoon.
Dave Ruden first reported the story.
The junior ended the week-plus-long deliberations on whether he would stick with the program that recruited him -- despite the heavy sanctions the NCAA recently applied -- or to find a school that can still compete. The irony is not lost that Redd picked USC, the last school to be hit with heavy sanctions pre-Penn State.
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.
If last year was any indication, Redd adds great quality and the desired quantity -- he could arguably be the most talented USC tailback since Reggie Bush and LenDale White paired up and ran all over college football (feel free to argue otherwise).
As Joey pointed out on Twitter yesterday, USC was attractive, in part, because Redd would not be the workhorse Penn State may have wanted him to be. With senior quarterback Matt Barkley, junior wide receiver Robert Woods, sophomore wide receiver Marqise Lee and McNeal on the roster, Redd will not need to run the ball 30 times per game, if even 20. He will keep his legs fresh as Kiffin will certainly continue to use McNeal and the other guys as needed to vary the attack. But Redd's talent adds another dimension to an already explosive, versatile USC offense.
Fall camp, which opens Aug. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Howard Jones Field, became even more interesting. Check back later this week with the key storylines to follow when the Trojans open camp Monday.
UPDATE: 2:58 PM PDT
USC released a statement from Athletic Director Pat Haden regarding Redd's transfer. Read it after the jump:
"We welcome Silas Redd to the Trojan Family. He is an outstanding student and athlete. When the NCAA presented the option to transfer, Silas and his family put a lot of thought and research into making this decision.
"At USC, we've seen both sides of this issue, having lost a number of players to transfer due to our NCAA sanctions in 2010. But Lane Kiffin and his coaches would not be doing their job if they did not try to improve our team every single day. There is a specific need here for a player like Silas Redd, so Lane and our coaches recruited him within the guidelines set up in this instance by the NCAA."
UPDATE: 3:03 PM PDT
This has obviously been a very busy, emotionally draining week for me and my family. As many of you know, playing football at Penn State has been a dream of mine since I was seven years old, and I will be forever grateful that this dream became a reality. This is the reason that the decision I have made is so difficult for me: I will transfer to USC to complete my education and my college football career, beginning in the 2012-2013 year. Penn State gave me a phenomenal opportunity to become part of a legendary football program. My teammates, my coaches - past and present - and the staff have provided me with a tremendous amount of guidance and support since I arrived on campus, and I can't thank them enough for their time, their advice, and their friendship. They have given me such a strong foundation from which I can continue to grow.
The Penn State community - including the Nittany Lions' unbelievable fan base - has also been a huge part of my incredible experience over the past two years. I have grown tremendously as a person and a player at Penn State, and the support of the community and our fans has been a big part of the reason why. I also want to extend my thanks to the media, who have embraced me and my family over my entire football career, even before I began at the college level. I think it is important to say that this situation is not something that I wished for myself, but it has happened, nonetheless. My family and I have spent many hours in recent days trying to decide what will be best for me as I look to the future - both personally and professionally.
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.
Silas Redd Jr.
Follow Will on Twitter @Will_Robinson_