LOS ANGELES -- The Decision, it wasn't for Silas Redd.
In fact, it wasn't a decision at all.
If Lebron James is The Chosen One, on Tuesday Redd became The Sensible One. USC's new tailback waited a respectable mourning period (eight days) before announcing he would transfer from Penn State. Back in State College at some point, hands were no doubt shaken, hugs were shared, luck was wished. Sure, it was painful for Penn State's former tailback to leave a place he always to play. But in the end he had to realize it was no longer the place he could play.
Let's see: Stay at a Rust Belt outpost in rural Pennsylvania where the program had just burned down or chase NFL dreams and perhaps a national championship in the Southern California sunshine. If there is a decision in there somewhere to be made, someone please let me know.
Silas Redd did what he had to do for himself, his family and for the American Psychiatric Association. In other words, dude wasn't crazy. To call him a “traitor” is calling yourself a hypocrite. You'd do the same thing in a minute and you know it.
And as Pat Haden reminded in his statement, don't blame the Trojans for poaching, USC has been there. His program lost something like a half dozen players when the NCAA came calling 26 months ago.
This wasn't a Tuesday decision for Redd. This was a lifetime decision. The worst-case scenario for him is getting maximum exposure to the NFL. No program has had more players drafted. Matt Cassel went there, didn't play and still became the Patriots' starter.
Redd will be backed by a championship-quality teammates with an unlimited future. Yeah, USC will forfeit 20 more scholarships over the next two seasons. But have you noticed? The Trojans are probably going to start the season No. 2 guided by a Heisman front-running quarterback.
One who welcomed his new tailback via Twitter: @MattBarkley: Silas Redd, welcome to the Trojan Family! #FightOn #UnfinishedBusiness
Redd ran for 1,200 yards against Big Ten defenses without a passing game. He has a passing game, a significant one, in Troy. Do the math.
Without the drawn-out hype and drama that accompanied King James, SoCal gets a prince of a guy. That this story lasted even eight days was a tribute to Redd's thoughtfulness and consideration for the teammates he was leaving. On some level, he had to be torn to be leaving old friends. Upset, even.
Bill O'Brien said last week there was a core group of 50 scholarship players who were staying. Maybe, but it's three Nittany Lions and counting who have transferred. There will be more as Redd's absence creates more instability in the lineup.
But you can't blame the kid. He laid it all out in a well-crafted text that should end any discussion whether he made the right decision.
"I continue to have aspirations for my life," Redd wrote, "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."