Player Spotlight: Silas Redd

Story posted January 2, 2012 in Sports, CommRadio by Alex Gilliland

Penn State running back Silas Redd captured the attention of the nation this year as he led a solid Nittany Lion ground attack all over the college football landscape. Redd came into the 2011-2012 season with lofty expectations, something Redd has had to deal with since middle school.

The Stamford, CT native was a highly-touted athlete coming out of high school, ranking in the Top 10 of 2010 running back prospects. Recruiters were enamored with Redd’s elusiveness and surprising power as he trucked his way through his senior year of high school en route to being named Connecticut’s top prep football player in 2009.

Redd turned down offers from Boston College, Connecticut, Rutgers, Stanford, Oregon and Virginia before he committed to four years in Happy Valley as a Nittany Lion. The Redd commitment was quite the catch for a Penn State offense that is known to reel in quality playmakers.

Redd came in as a true freshman, backing up Evan Royster in the backfield. Redd showed signs of incredible potential early in the 2010-2011 campaign, providing a spark in non-conference play with 26 yards on 5 carries at top-ranked Alabama.

Once Penn State began conference play, Redd began turning heads. When the Nittany Lion offense was in trouble on the road at Minnesota, Redd gave the Lions a change of pace and reeled off 70 yards on 8 carries to lead Penn State to the win.

The coming out party would come a few weeks later at home against the Northwestern Wildcats. After trailing 21-0 late in the 1st half, Redd kicked it in to high gear to spark the improbable comeback. Redd scored his first collegiate touchdown from 4 yards out to give the Lions their first lead at 28-21 and 134 yards later, the rest is history. Joe Paterno got his 400th win and Redd became a Happy Valley hero.

Redd finished his freshman year with 437 yards and 2 touchdowns. Coming into his sophomore year, Redd was eager to pick up where he left off in 2011, this time as a starter.

In the season-opener against Indiana State, Redd took it to the Sycamores with 104 yards on the ground and 2 touchdowns. In non-conference play, Redd once again proved he has the spark and power necessary to make it not only in college, but at the next level.

Similar to last season, Redd became a completely different back once Big Ten Play began. Redd reeled off five straight 100-yard rushing performances against the likes of Indiana, Iowa, Purdue, Northwestern and Illinois. The highlight reel game came against Northwestern, where Redd pounded out a season-high 164 yards to go along with a touchdown.

As the season progressed, Redd saw limited carries as Penn State’s offense began to utilize Curtis Dukes and Stephfon Green to give opposing defenses different looks. Redd improved by leaps and bounds this season, but critics still want to see improvement in the area of blocking and receiving.

Redd finished the season with 1,188 yards on 230 carries to go along with seven touchdowns.

Redd’s final opportunity in the backfield this season comes against a Houston team that has had trouble stopping the run. Look for Houston to get a heavy dose of the Nittany Lion backfield with the Penn State quarterback situation in disarray.

Silas Redd and Penn State travel to Dallas on January 2 to face the Houston Cougars out of Conference-USA in the 2012 TicketCity Bowl.

Alex Gilliland is a sophomore majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, e-mail: ajg5371@psu.edu.