Breakout prospect No. 6: Silas Redd

This was a pretty easy choice.

I know I already picked a running back in Brandon Beachum, but Redd is the key figure in Penn State’s running game this fall (that of course depends on the Nittany Lions finding a competent offensive line). Redd has the quickness, elusiveness and drive to be an All-American before his time at Penn State is over. That won’t come this year, mostly because Beachum deserves to get his share of carries, but Redd is that talented.

I don’t even have to go back to his high school tape here (although if you watch it Redd is absolutely jaw dropping). When Evan Royster either struggled or needed a break last season, Redd was there to show his skills. It’s hard to remember a player who Redd reminds me of because the player many say compare to him (Curt Warner) was before my time. He has the same athleticism as Mike Archie had, but Redd is faster than Archie.

Where Redd needs to improve to make me look good here is receiving and blocking. Joe Paterno won’t trust Redd until he knows he can count on him to protect the quarterback. All the really good Penn State running backs of the past 20 years could block. Ki-Jana Carter, Curtis Ennis, Aaron Harris, Larry Johnson, Rodney Kinlaw and Royster all got the job done when the ball wasn’t in their hands.

Another thing I like about Redd is the swagger he carries. I follow him on Twitter and he’s a very confident kid who knows he has talent and isn’t shy about letting others know about it. Some might say that’s cocky but remember as a true freshman last year he ran for 461 yards and averaged 5.7 yards per carry. And that came behind an average at best line. I think there are players capable of giving Penn State a good line (you’ll read about one in my final installment of my breakout players and several in my now or never segment) and Redd is the perfect player to take advantage of even the smallest of holes.

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