For Part Three of Scout.com's "Player To Watch" series, we happily profile running back Silas Redd. Redd was a five-star commit (OMG STARZ DON'T MATTER) out of Norwalk, Connecticut, and here was Scout's assessment of Redd as a high school senior:
Redd is a powerfully built runner who maintains a low center of gravity. Redd is one of the most elusive runners in space in the entire nation. He is almost impossible to get a solid hit on. He is a very talented receiver out of the backfield and has that extra gear to always be a threat to score from anywhere on the field.
Coming into the 2011 season, most thought that the Penn State running back situation would be solid with the tandem of Stephfon Green and Silas Redd getting the bulk of the carries. Green's off-field transgressions have severely limited his playing time, and while Brandon Beachum and Curtis Dukes have been able to pick up a handful of carries in secondary roles, it's been Redd getting 20+ carries every week. He's been surprisingly durable thus far (keep your fingers crossed on that) and has shown a toughness between the tackles and near the goal line that many observers weren't sure he had in him.
Redd's strength and toughness shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who follows him on Twitter, as he enthusiastically tweeted #RiseAndGrind before his off-season workouts. His dedication has led to tremendous on-field results, even while running behind a spotty offensive line which is just recently showing signs of improvement. Redd's 2011 stats:
9/3 Indiana State 12 carries 104 yards
9/10 Alabama L 27-11 22 carries 65 yards
9/17 @Temple W 14-10 16 carries 86 yards
9/24 Eastern Michigan W 34-6 12 carries 48 yards
10/1 @Indiana W 16-10 29 carries 129 yards
10/8 Iowa W 13-3 28 carries 142 yards
10/15 Purdue W 23-18 28 carries 131 yards
Despite defenses practically selling out to stop him, Redd has three consecutive 100+ yard rushing games to start the Big Ten season. Of greater importance, perhaps, is his number of carries in those games. I'd personally prefer to see him in the 20-23 carry per game range, with a little extra work going to Dukes and Beachum, but Redd seems to be holding up well so far. It would also be nice to see Redd get a little more work in the passing game, but the Penn State offense has been beyond terrible with its usually reliable screen plays this season.
Whatever, this is nit-picking. Silas Redd is one of the few players who makes this Penn State offense occasionally dangerous, and we'd likely be lost without him.
Weigh in on Fight On State's poll question of the week: how many yards will Silas Redd rush for in 2011?