Silas Redd became the biggest name in college football Tuesday, a coveted free agent who's being wooed by USC and many other programs.
The standout junior running back's decision to either stay at Penn State or transfer could be a major telling point as to how many Nittany Lions will leave so that they can play immediately at another Division I program.
Penn State and diehard college football fans already knew Redd's name and about his immense talent, and anyone else around the country who wasn't aware of him needed only to listen to sports talk on TV and radio throughout the day. Virtually every discussion about the Penn State scandal and NCAA sanctions included Redd's name at some point.
Redd's father, who did not return a phone message seeking comment, sent a text message to the (Harrisburg) Patriot-News saying his son is "still sifting through it all" with regards to enormous interest he has received from other programs.
However, Silas Redd Sr. also told the Hartford Courant on Tuesday that his son "is a Penn State student-athlete, period."
USC is coveting Redd, who ran for 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore, and if he decides to go there, he could be a major contributor for a team that has a chance to win a national title.
NCAA transfer rules for PSU players
The NCAA released the following information on its website Tuesday:
* Football student-athletes who transfer will not have to sit out a year of competition. Any current football student-athletes who transfer to any NCAA school (all divisions) during the 2012-13 academic year will be immediately eligible, provided they are admitted through the normal process and are otherwise eligible.
* Any current football student-athletes who begin preseason practice or enroll in classes at another school for the fall term of 2013 (begin preseason practice or enroll in classes at another institution) will be immediately eligible, provided they are admitted through the normal process and are otherwise eligible.
* Penn State football student-athletes can decide to transfer from now until the 2013 season (before participating in preseason practice with Penn State) and play immediately at the new school.
* Penn State will release any incoming student-athletes from the National Letter of Intent. Such individuals are not considered transfer student-athletes and can compete immediately at another school as long as they are otherwise eligible.
* Student-athletes who transfer during the 2012 season and have not competed for Penn State during that season will be immediately eligible for competition upon transfer, provided they are admitted under the normal process and are otherwise eligible per NCAA regulations. Student-athletes who transfer during the 2012 season after having competed for Penn State will not be eligible for competition during the same season at the next institution.
* If a student-athlete transfers for the fall of 2012 to a school that has reached its scholarship limits, the school may exceed these numbers for the 2012-13 academic year, provided it reduces such limits proportionately in the 2013-14 academic year. For example, if one student-athlete transfers to a Division I school already at the legislated limits of 25 initial counters and 85 overall counters for 2012-13, the school will be limited to 24 initial counters and 84 overall counters in 2013-14.
* If a student-athlete transfers after the fall 2012 term, the standard financial aid rules governing counter status still apply, including the midyear replacement exception. If extenuating circumstances arise that may warrant a waiver of the standard application of financial aid rules governing counters, waiver requests will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
* A school subject to scholarship limits due to an infractions case is allowed to accept transfers from Penn State but cannot exceed the scholarship limits specified in its infractions report. Athletically-related financial aid may not be canceled during the period of the award and these schools are not permitted the same exception allowed to schools not under Committee on Infractions sanctions.
Source: NCAA.org (check website for additional changes to traditional transfer rules)
Redd has to weigh that possibility with remaining loyal to Penn State and not being able to play in a bowl game this season or next. He has two years of eligibility remaining but, wherever he plays, could leave early for the NFL after this season.
USC, in the midst of its own NCAA sanctions, has only 75 scholarships to offer and reportedly is at that limit already. The NCAA is allowing schools to go above their limit of 85 in order to add PSU transfers, but that stipulation does not extend to USC because of its current sanctions.
The Trojans would have to find a way to get under their limit of 75 if they want to add Redd.
Penn State coach Bill O'Brien said Tuesday afternoon he had not heard from any players about transferring.
However, late Tuesday night, news broke that redshirt freshman offensive lineman Ryan Nowicki would be transferring, likely to Illinois. He's from Glendale, Ariz., and the news was reported in a tweet by a sports radio talk show host at KTAR in Phoenix.
Numerous Penn State players tweeted that they would be staying, including backup running back Bill Belton, defensive backs Stephon Morris and Adrian Amos and tight ends Garry Gilliam and Kyle Carter.
Senior linebacker Michael Mauti told a Louisiana website that he's staying put and expects the core members of the team to do the same.
Junior linebacker Khairi Fortt is "torn" about his decision, his father, Guy Fortt, told the Hearst Connecticut Newspaper Group. Fortt has received calls from more than 40 schools, his father said, including Illinois, UConn, Baylor and California.
O'Brien was asked if there's a time frame for when he might know about transfers and how losing players so close to the season could affect the team.
"I've been very upfront with these kids," O'Brien said. "I've told them what the rules state, what they can do, what's available to them. I've told them what I think is important about staying here at Penn State, that there's a lot of passion for this football program.
O'Brien added he told the players "to make decisions in this time period that are good for them and are good with their families, and at the end of the day, we'll deal with it as it comes by. So I don't really think about timetables or things like that. I just talk to our team about Penn State, why I'm here and why they're here."
Ohio cornerback Ross Douglas, who decommitted from Penn State on Monday, committed to Michigan on Tuesday.