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.
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Marc Kulkin (WeAreSC) had this to say, among many other observations, after watching USC’s “fast and physical” first day of practice:
“Keep an eye out for redshirt JR DL De’Jon Benton (6-2, 270; Pittsburgh, CA) this year. Just a hunch on my part.”
A knee sprain suffered against ARIZ sidelined Benton for last year’s final 4 games (ASU, UCLA, BYU, CAL), all big losses, except to BYU which almost blew a 15 pt 3rd Q lead.
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.
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.
Agreed. I also think LR was super honest with a bunch who transferred out and let them know that they should find another team.
Is this in the cards?
Won’t open anything.
Have I mentioned lately how much I love these jerseys!!!
I’d actually enjoy seeing USC mixing up the current crescent jerseys (the ones worn when they won the ’63 Rose Bowl, and I got interested) with these armband versions (Ronnie Lott style).
Both are historically significant and awesome looking. Can’t lose either way. USC could split time wearing each. Us fans wouldn’t know how the Trojans would be decked out until they entered the stadium. I know it sounds crazy, and probably is, but I like both jerseys so much that I hate to lose one.
Not at all.
TEXAS nailed a priority target at a position of need with in-state LB/EDGE Derion Gullette making his public pledge to the Horns on Friday over OHIO ST and A&M.
Maybe this is good news for USC:
The Greatest Day of Colin Cowherd’s Life
Colin Cowherd — “Doug Pederson (Jags coach) was the guy I thought USC was going to hire. And I talked to the USC Athletic Director, a friend Mike Bohn, and I said, ‘Mike, I think you should go to the NFL. It works. Go get Matt Rhule (Panthers coach), or Doug Pederson, and they’ll be great.’ And then he hired Lincoln Riley, and of course, it was the greatest day of my life.”
One of the greatest days in many of our lives.
As I said in my previous post a lot of why Addison chose to transfer had to do with coaching changes at Pitt.
Pat Narduzzi made a total fool of himself while trying to blindly indict Lincoln Riley and USC because he couldn’t hold on to his amazing WR, Jordan Addison.
LR handled Narduzzi’s accusations with class and restraint.
Narduzzi tried to be a whistleblower, but instead came off as an angry clown.
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.
I can understand Narduzzi’s initial emotional response. Heck, he’s just human and he suddenly lost the best receiver he’ll ever coach on the heels of losing important assistants too. Pressure city.
But he’s supposed to be a pro. He’s been around. Been coaching CFB for over 30 years, and the HC for the Panthers since 2015 (53-37 record, 1-4 in bowls).
Then he weakly doubles down on his Addison to USC BS at the ACC Media Days. Pitiful.
Well past time for Narduzzi to move on.
He just signed an extension with PITT through 2030, based on his only losing three games last season, even though he couldn’t even handle W MICH at home, losing 44-41. Still, that was PITT’s best season since ’82.
We’ll see how they do without the Kenny Pickett to Jordan Addison freight train. It’s amazing how things can change with just losing a player or two.
Yep, as losing Drake London showed.
This was a tough one. So glad to hear one of the most amazing competitors USC has ever had is doing so well with the Atlanta Falcons.
And that is what college football is about. New team every season.
You’d think Crybaby Narduzzi would recognize this basic concept instead of making a laughing stock of himself while losing his WR, and taking USC’s QB at the same time. What an idiot! 😂
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?
Sure it would take experience, intelligence, and professionalism to refuse to assume center stage while slandering a coach of Lincoln Riley’s well-earned stature, or any coach for that matter. But Narduzzi flunked that test big-time, over and over. As I commented above, I could understand Narduzzi’s initial clown act. He was butt hurt, and he shot his mouth off without any evidence. Okay. LR just ignored him. But Narduzzi has continued his clown act right on through to the ACC Media Days. If he can’t keep his coaches, or his best players, that’s his fault and nobody else’s. I hope… Read more »
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.
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.
Riley/Addison vs Narduzzi/Slovis would be too good to be true. But with all the insane things that have happened to USC football in the last eight months, anything is clearly possible.