Silas Redd is "leaning toward" transferring to USC, according to an ESPN report Monday, but Bill O'Brien will have one more crack at trying to convince the standout running back to stay at Penn State.
Redd is expected to meet with O'Brien today, then the junior will be faced with the toughest decision of his athletic career. He went to USC over the weekend, and all indications are the visit with Trojans coach Lane Kiffin went very well.
Kiffin tried to sell Redd on the impact he could make immediately at USC, which is expected to contend for a national title. The Trojans have an explosive offense led by potential Heisman Trophy candidate Matt Barkley, but they don't have a big, durable running back like Redd.
Those who know Redd have said this is a very difficult decision for him.
"I definitely see that it's killing him because he wants to make the decision, and he just wants to make the best decision for himself and his family," PSU defensive tackle Jordan Hill, one of Redd's roommates, said Thursday at Big Ten media days.
Since the NCAA sanctions came down, O'Brien has made a point in every interview to talk about the positives at Penn State. He is expected to reiterate all of those -- big crowds, being part of a new era, great education -- when he speaks to Redd, plus he could have one big selling point for Redd in particular.
The junior running back is a team leader for the Nittany Lions, and if he spurns USC and stays at Penn State, he would in many ways cement his legacy as someone who will be widely respected for sticking it out through the tough times during the sanctions.
Then it will be up to Redd to determine what's most important to him, his family and for his career.
Redd was asked at the Lift for Life event two weeks ago what Penn State means to him.
"I think it's one of the best institutions academically and athletically in the nation," he said. "My view of that is never going to change [in light of the scandal]."