Continued from page 1

USC has had prodigious depth at tailback for most of the past decade, since shortly after former coach Pete Carroll took over and turned Tailback U into Tailbacks U. But that depth eroded last season, from touted prospect Dillon Baxter’s spectacular flameout with numerous disciplinary problems to Amir Carlisle’s surprising decision to transfer to Notre Dame last winter.

Redd and McNeal were both fans of Reggie Bush and LenDale White, the USC tailback duo dubbed “Thunder and Lightning” while carving up opposing defenses in the middle of the previous decade. McNeal said he and Redd “aren’t the Reggie and LenDale type,” but they’ll provide their own difficult looks for defenses.

“I think he’s been great,” Barkley said of Redd. “He learned the offense very quickly and came on board. It’s pretty easy for him, it seemed like, just with the inside zone that we run and all our blocking schemes. He picked it up quickly. I think that combination of him and Curtis will be really effective for us.”

Redd knows he was branded a traitor by some Penn State fans, but he heard from many others who wished him well. He’s even grateful for the experience of navigating the Sandusky scandal, saying it taught him how to “adapt to any adversity.”

“A college player doesn’t really go through that too often,” Redd said. “Being able to go through that and overcome should help any transition or adversity I might face for the rest of my life.”