By GENARO C. ARMAS / AP Sports Writer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Star tailback Silas Redd is bolting Penn State for Southern California.
The 1,200-yard rusher opted Tuesday to leave a Nittany Lions program facing heavy NCAA sanctions handed down because of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Among the penalties was a four-year postseason ban.
The NCAA gave Penn State players the option to transfer immediately and play for another school this year. Redd visited USC over the weekend and heard coach Lane Kiffin's pitch to be a key cog for a Trojans team expected to be highly ranked and contend for the Pac-12 title.
Redd is the second player to leave Penn State since the sanctions were announced July 23. The other was backup safety Tim Buckley, who joined North Carolina State on Monday.
"We welcome Silas Redd to the Trojan Family," USC athletic director Pat Haden said in a statement. "He is an outstanding student and athlete."
"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."
Penn State coach Bill O'Brien and his staff have been working hard to keep the team together despite the sanctions, but Redd was his best offensive player. Backup Bill Belton is a converted wideout.