Jordan Addison Is Ready For Business At USC, Calls Pat Narduzzi’s Claims “BS”

USC’s Jordan Addison on tampering accusations: ‘Truth always going to come to light’

Thuc Nhi Nguyen (LA Times)  —  Jordan Addison first saw the news on social media. Not only was the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner’s potential transfer blowing up online, but it also came with an extra scoop of controversy. ESPN reported on April 29 that Addison was considering USC as a destination before officially entering the portal. Pittsburgh officials cried “tampering.”

Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi placed multiple frustrated calls to USC’s Lincoln Riley. Critics wondered if Addison was selling out for name, image and likeness deals.

Three months and one new school later, Addison, sporting a freshly pressed USC jersey, had a simple response.

Just some BS,” Addison said Thursday, meeting with local media for the first 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.

“I wasn’t coming out here for all the lights, camera, action, and all that. I just wanted to make sure that I was strictly business.”

Following the contentious journey through the transfer portal, Addison finally will get to work with the Trojans as Riley opens his first fall camp Friday.

The 6-foot junior had 1,593 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns on a school-record 100 catches last season, earning the Biletnikoff Award honoring the nation’s most outstanding receiver.

Such a proven talent rarely enters the transfer portal, adding another layer of suspicion to Addison’s decision. But it came down to a simple gut feeling, Addison said.

While many critics concentrated on the rumors of multimillion-dollar NIL opportunities, Addison was connecting with the USC coaching staff during his recruiting visit over long film sessions. Addison and Riley spent so much time talking football that they skipped extraneous recruiting rituals such as fancy meals or planned entertainment.

Addison said he didn’t feel a need to reach out to Narduzzi to address the accusations, but added he was grateful that the staff allowed him to start his college career at Pitt. When asked if he was disappointed that the speculations were a final, sour note of his accomplished Pitt career, Addison shrugged.

“They say it’s a business,” Addison explained, “so sometimes you gotta make decisions for you. I didn’t think I really needed to go back and talk to them. Whatever it is they had to say, they can say it.”

Outside wide receivers coach Dennis Simmons said he was worried the controversy would cause friction in the USC program. Simmons said when the reports surfaced, he called every player in his position room and explained he hadn’t spoken to Addison yet and wasn’t sure if the top 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 said. “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 hide their excitement about the top receiver who has scorched the field during summer conditioning and player-run practices. Running back Travis Dye joked he saw smoke coming off Addison’s shoes when players were running sprints and Addison was measured close to 23 mph.

Jordan Addison is a freak of nature,” said Dye, a transfer 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 event on campus wearing a No. 3 jersey, the same number he wore at Pitt. The jersey was retired at USC in honor of quarterback Carson Palmer, but the Heisman winner gave Addison his blessing to sport the number he has worn since high school.

Getting on the phone with Palmer was nerve-racking, Addison said, but he was quick to note his appreciation for the gesture.

“I’m just gonna make sure he knows he put the number on the right person,” Addison said.

latimes.com

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Chris
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Chris(@chris)
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August 5, 2022 7:15 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

It’s going to be so fun watching what real coaching and development can do for a whole bunch of guys. I hope Benton plays lights out.

volunteerTrojan
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volunteerTrojan(@volunteertrojan)
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August 5, 2022 7:24 pm
Reply to  Chris

Just a guess here, but I imagine there are several players who realized they were not among The Cat’s “loves of his life” that lost their motivation along the way, and have real talent that will surface under the new coaching regime. I believe we will be surprised by many players who stayed during the coaching/player outflux/influx, and realize they have a whole new career opening up before them. We will wonder where they were last year, and we will know the answer.

Chris
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August 5, 2022 7:32 pm

Agreed. I also think LR was super honest with a bunch who transferred out and let them know that they should find another team.

Steveg
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August 5, 2022 4:26 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Won’t open anything.

volunteerTrojan
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August 5, 2022 7:27 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Have I mentioned lately how much I love these jerseys!!!

volunteerTrojan
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volunteerTrojan(@volunteertrojan)
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August 5, 2022 9:42 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Not at all.

Steveg
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August 5, 2022 12:03 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

One of the greatest days in many of our lives.

RialtoTrojan
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August 5, 2022 9:20 am

As I said in my previous post a lot of why Addison chose to transfer had to do with coaching changes at Pitt.

Golden Trojan
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August 5, 2022 9:57 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Narduzzi strikes me as one of those guys that is stuck in the past and doesn’t know how to maneuver in the new world of college football. He is not alone but these coaches will have to learn pretty quick or find themselves at a Group of 5 program.

Last edited 3 months ago by Golden Trojan
volunteerTrojan
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August 5, 2022 11:00 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Well past time for Narduzzi to move on.

volunteerTrojan
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August 5, 2022 11:53 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Yep, as losing Drake London showed.

Steveg
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Steveg(@steveg)
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August 5, 2022 11:58 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

And that is what college football is about. New team every season.

Jamaica
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August 5, 2022 10:29 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

In a way you have to feel empathy for a HC who is trying to keep his program together moving forward. Narduzzi making a big issue of all this is a compliment actually because it reinforces his losing the top player in his program. You lose the successful assistant coaches Narduzzi did and then his big name player bolts, it rips the gizzard out of a coaches hide. it would be hard not to react?

Steveg
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August 5, 2022 12:02 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Don’t sell Slovis short, he may become a new person being out of the control of the coaches he had in the past. Narducci did well with Pickett, he may turn Slovis around and make him what he could have been at USC. Remember, nobody played to their potential much under the Cat.

PN4SC
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August 5, 2022 2:46 pm
Reply to  Jamaica

Narduzzi is not a sympathetic figure by any metric. He falsely accuses Riley of tampering, essentially tells Addison he is an ingrate because he is a star player because of Pitt, and badmouths his ex OC Whipple, once he headed off to Nebraska. The guy has ZERO class, and appears to be a Major League DOUCHEBAG! I wish we could schedule a game against them, and really pour it on.