CHICAGO - Silas Redd is expected to visit the USC campus this weekend, while several other notable Penn State players also are considering transferring and have reached out to schools.
Coach Bill O'Brien said he has a great relationship with Redd and noted he met with the running back and his family a couple of days ago. He called it a good, productive meeting.
ESPN reported the upcoming visit to USC by Redd, who can stay at PSU for his junior season or try to help the Trojans win a national title this year. His college transcripts arrived at USC on Friday, according to the L.A. Daily News, so the transfer possibility appears to be getting stronger.
Other players considering a transfer, according to various Twitter updates and media reports, include: PK Anthony Fera (Texas), LB Khairi Fortt (California), LB Mike Hull (Pitt) and TE Kevin Haplea (Florida State).
Asked about third-string quarterback Rob Bolden, who has long been thought of as a transfer possibility, O'Brien said, "At this point he's with us, and that's all I can comment on."
O'Brien said he has not asked the current players to let him know by a certain date if they are committed to staying with the team. He's letting them make up their minds at their own pace.
The coach has heard from parents of current players who are getting bombarded with recruiting calls and said of the parents, "They're angry about it.''
He advised his players that if they don't recognize the number, don't answer the call. If they do talk to a coach from another school and they're not interested in transferring, he has instructed the players to tell the coach to stop calling.
Athletic director Dave Joyner said it was O'Brien's idea to have a clause in his contract that would extend his deal to as many years as any potential NCAA sanctions would be in effect. His five-year contract is now a nine-year deal.
"It was his idea, but we were very receptive to it,'' Joyner said. "So I think it was an excellent idea.
"I think it was a wise move,'' Joyner added, "both on his part and our part to do that, because we didn't know back in January how this was going to play out. I don't think anybody did. And so I'm very happy that, number one, we did that back then, as I'm sure he is.''
Joyner still has the title of acting AD and once again said he would like the job on a permanent basis.
Recruits on the way
Several top recruits are scheduled to visit Penn State this weekend, including quarterback Christian Hackenberg and tight end Adam Breneman, to find out more information in the wake of the scandal.
The coach addressed many topics during a 90-minute media session Friday. Some of the more notable:
n There's talk of changing the iconic basic uniforms, and some fans do not want to see that happen. Asked what he'd tell those fans, O'Brien said, "I'd say jump on board. Support our football team, support our players.''
n On the STEP program, he said he expects fans to come out in big numbers this year. "I expect our fans to come out and support this football team. No doubt about it," he said. Asked about what will he happen the next few years and if there will be changes to the STEP program, he said those conversations will take place above him in the university.
n He mentioned earlier this week the possibility of playing at Hawaii, but that won't happen this year. "I got in trouble for that,'' O'Brien said of his comments. "I apologize to the University of Hawaii.''
n He's not sure if PSU either will play in a 13th game this year or is even eligible to do so.
n He said a few times, as did Joyner, that he's not sure about certain aspects of the NCAA sanctions. He was asked if he feels the NCAA had thought of all the possible scenarios that could come up and said, "You need to ask the NCAA that.'' He also said it's an "ever-evolving situation'' and added, "We have questions for the NCAA that we're awaiting answers on.'' He then mentioned, "I have questions'' for the NCAA but did not elaborate.
n On the sanctions, he said, "I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't a little bit angry.''
n He said he got a text message of support on Thursday from Peyton Manning.
n He was asked about having 85 scholarships and mentioned how it used to be unlimited. He then told a story about how Alabama's Bear Bryant would take 150 kids just so he could keep some away from other schools.
n He joked when asked about how the NCAA allows 85 scholarships, saying, "I think it's too much right now," referencing that he soon will have only 65.
n He will consider taking junior college players, something PSU has rarely done, and said he would be looking for high-character kids if he does so. He also will consider taking players who want to transfer to PSU.
n He talked about socializing with some Big Ten coaches at a cocktail hour during media days. Asked if everything had been smoothed over with the coaches, he said, "I didn't say I socialized with everybody." He didn't mention anyone by name, but Illinois coach Tim Beckman has admitted to having assistant coaches in State College recruiting PSU's players, and O'Brien doesn't seem happy about that.
n Talking about moving forward with his players, he said, "No one cares in the football building what you think about the Freeh report. He then said everyone has to "turn the page" and move forward with the sanctions in place.
n Preseason practice starts Aug. 6, and O'Brien said, "I just can't wait. I can't wait to coach football."