Jordan Addison first noticed the information on social media.
Not solely was the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner’s potential switch blowing up on-line, but it surely additionally got here with an additional scoop of controversy. ESPN reported on April 29 that Addison was contemplating USC as a vacation spot earlier than formally coming into the portal. Pittsburgh officers cried “tampering.”
Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi positioned a number of pissed off calls to USC’s Lincoln Riley. Critics questioned if Addison was promoting out for identify, picture and likeness offers.
Three months and one new college later, Addison, sporting a freshly pressed USC jersey, had a easy response.
“Just some BS,” Addison mentioned Thursday, assembly with native media for the primary time since transferring to USC. “But I mean, the truth always going to come to light, so I just make sure I’m just going to keep working and make sure I’m ready for the season.”
Following the contentious journey via the switch portal, Addison lastly will get to work with the Trojans as Riley opens his first fall camp Friday.
“I wasn’t coming out here for all the lights, camera, action and all that. I just wanted to make sure they knew that I was strictly business.”
— Jordan Addison
The 6-foot junior had 1,593 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns on a school-record 100 catches final season, incomes the Biletnikoff Award honoring the nation’s most excellent receiver.
Such a confirmed expertise hardly ever enters the switch portal, including one other layer of suspicion to Addison’s determination. But it surely got here right down to a easy intestine feeling, Addison mentioned.
Whereas many critics focused on the rumors of multimillion-dollar NIL alternatives, Addison was connecting with the USC teaching employees throughout his recruiting go to over lengthy movie periods. Addison and Riley spent a lot time speaking soccer that they skipped extraneous recruiting rituals resembling fancy meals or deliberate leisure.
“I wasn’t coming out here for all the lights, camera, action and all that,” Addison mentioned. “I just wanted to make sure they knew that I was strictly business.”
Addison mentioned he didn’t really feel a necessity to succeed in out to Narduzzi to deal with the accusations, however added he was grateful that the employees allowed him to start out his faculty profession at Pitt. When requested if he was disillusioned that the speculations had been a ultimate, bitter observe of his completed Pitt profession, Addison shrugged.
“They say it’s a business,” he mentioned, “so sometimes you gotta make decisions for you.”
Exterior vast receivers coach Dennis Simmons mentioned he was apprehensive the controversy would trigger friction within the USC program. Simmons mentioned when the studies surfaced, he known as each participant in his place room and defined he hadn’t spoken to Addison but and wasn’t certain if the highest prospect was transferring to USC.
“When you attack someone’s character and integrity, especially when you’re supposedly a mentor or caregiver, of course you’re hurt,” Simmons mentioned. “I try to really not harp on his past with him, from that standpoint, just because at this point what good is going to come out of it? I don’t know his previous head coach, don’t have a relationship with him. He’s here now, and I just let him know how we feel about him.”
USC teammates couldn’t disguise their pleasure in regards to the high receiver who has scorched the sphere throughout summer time conditioning and player-run practices. Operating again Travis Dye joked he noticed smoke coming off Addison’s footwear when gamers had been working sprints and Addison was measured near 23 mph.
“Jordan Addison is a freak of nature,” mentioned Dye, a switch from Oregon. “That man can run like a gazelle, has hands like nobody’s business. I always compare him to Calvin Ridley because he just has that type of running style and his cuts are just super smooth.”
Addison walked into USC’s media day occasion on campus carrying a No. 3 jersey, the identical quantity he wore at Pitt. The jersey was retired at USC in honor of quarterback Carson Palmer, however the Heisman winner gave Addison his blessing to sport the quantity he has worn since highschool.
Getting on the cellphone with Palmer was nerve-racking, Addison mentioned, however he was fast to notice his appreciation for the gesture.
“I’m just gonna make sure he knows he put the number on the right person,” Addison mentioned.
Workers author J. Brady McCollough contributed to this report.