After a promising freshman campaign, Silas Redd may have a chance to become the next in a long line of top running backs produced by Penn State, a list that recently includes Blair Thomas, Ki-Jana Carter, Curtis Enis and Larry Johnson.
The graduate ended the regular season as the Nittany Lions' second-leading rusher, running for 424 yards and two touchdowns on 69 carries. He also caught three passes for 11 yards and returned three kickoffs for 73 yards.
For his efforts, Redd has been named Stamford Patch's outstanding athlete for the fall season.
Penn State coach Joe Paterno has a strict policy of not allowing freshmen to talk to the media, but Redd's teammates had plenty to say.
"As Joe would say, he's not a freshman anymore," Penn state senior Evan Royster running back told the Daily Collegian, Penn State's sudent newspaper, back in November.
"He's mature, he's got all the tools of a fifth-year guy and the fact that he has four more years to grow, that's exciting. It's unbelievable."
Since Penn State was saddled with the Big Ten Conference's 10th-best rushing attack, some even suggested that Redd should have replaced Royster as Penn State's feature running back.
With Royster graduating, Redd should get that opportunity next year, barring any setbacks. He is a quick, explosive running back who is hard to bring down despite his relatively small 5-10, 197-pound frame.
While not having as many carries, Redd (6.1) actually had a high average than Royster (4.9), who had somewhat of an inconsistent season (916 yards) even if he did become Penn State's all-time leading rusher.
"(Redd) definitely hits the hole really quickly and makes a move and he's gone, which is cool," Penn State right tackle Chima Okoli said.
After a 7-5 regular season, Penn State takes on Florida in the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day.
Last season, Rivals.com listed Redd as the top prep player in Connecticut, as he rushed for 1,924 yards and 25 touchdowns on only 137 carries, an eye-popping 14 yards per attempt.
Redd was recruited by a number of the top schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision, but picked Penn State because his friend Khairi Fortt - a linebacker on the Stamford team - also chose the Nittany Lions.
Redd turned down offers from Boston College, Connecticut, Rutgers, Stanford, Oregon, and Virginia, and also attracted some interest from Florida and Texas.
It seems he made the right choice, and the best thing about Redd, who plans to major in advertising, is that he he doesn't turn 19 until March 1.
Royster said he is going to be big fan of Redd in the years to come.
"I can't wait to see him," Royster said. "I'm going to come back and watch as many games as I can and catch them on TV because he's definitely got some exciting things coming."