It seems like a foregone conclusion that Silas Redd will be joining Snoop Dogg, Will Ferrell and the rest of the condom crew in Southern Cali. Reports are out that he has visited USC and has spoken with Lane Kiffin, Matt Barkley and Robert Woods, and has really enjoyed his visits – ESPN might as well put Silas on the USC depth chart right now with the way they cover Penn State.
Silas is best offensive player on the Nittany Lions roster, and losing him will certainly hurt, but I’m not mad about it. Would I love for him to stay and help lead this team through this mess of a situation? Absolutely, but if Silas wants a shot at a national championship and a chance to be drafted in the first round, I won’t hate on him for it. I’ve enjoyed watching him play for the last two seasons and carry the entire offense last year, and I will be a fan of his no matter where he ends up.
Losing Silas means losing his 1,678 rushing yards, 5.23 YPC and 9 career touchdowns as an underclassman, but even if Silas goes, Penn State isn’t doomed just yet. Sophomore Bill Belton looked very impressive in the Blue-White game and running back seems to be an area where PSU can always find someone to fill in. Over the last 7 years, PSU’s leading rusher has gone for over 1,000 yards and scored at least 6 TD’s each season.
An even bigger reason for hope is that everyone really underestimated the pride and commitment of this Penn State team. They also underestimated the respect and loyalty the players have for Bill O’Brien. If Silas is the only game-changer the Lions lose, it says a lot about the players and coaches taking over for Penn State.
When Mark Emmert and the NCAA handed down their “unprecedented” sanctions, including the ability of all players to openly transfer to whatever team poaches them, the intent was to slowly kill the Penn State program and break the team up to the point of uncompetitive embarrassment. I’m not saying that it won’t happen eventually - it’s too early to tell – but so far, that plan has backfired. The only player to transfer to this point is backup safety Tim Buckley and Rob Bolden is no longer on the team either (oh, no!). Silas and LB Khari Fortt could be next, but 62 scholarship players have announced that they’re staying with the program. That’s a hell of a lot more than I expected.
Not only are the current players toughing it out, the future hasn’t been scared away yet either. This past Saturday, the six biggest commits of the 2013 season visited BOB and all six of them reconfirmed their commitment. That is HUGE. QB Christian Hackenberg, TE Adam Breneman and DE Garrett Sickells could pretty much play wherever they want, and they are sticking with PSU.
So Silas may go, and a few others could join him, but if the fans continue to support this team and they stick together this season, perhaps this horrible and tragic story can lead to the start of a good one.