New USC WR Jordan Addison addresses allegations around his transfer – Daily News

LOS ANGELES — Before he even entered the transfer portal in May, rumors and accusations began swirling around about wide receiver Jordan Addison.

The allegations were serious: Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi reportedly believed that USC was tampering with Addison, trying to sway him to USC with NIL offers.

Once those rumors hit the Internet, it did not matter that the quarterback, offensive coordinator and receivers coach who had helped Addison win the Biletnikoff Award had all left Pitt during the offseason. They were taken as the truth, even as Addison shook his head as he saw the news on social media.

“Just some B.S.,” Addison said Thursday. “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.”

Addison was speaking in a cardinal jersey at USC media day in his first meeting with local press. He did in fact choose USC, as much of the speculation suggested he would. But, he says, for very different reasons than NIL.

At Pac-12 media day last week, USC head coach Lincoln Riley said that during Addison’s official visit to campus, the receiver missed several meals and entertainment that the Trojans had scheduled for him. Instead, they watched more film and discussed the details of Riley’s plan for him in the USC offense.

“He’s a kid that’s all about ball,” Riley said.

For his part, Addison said he had a gut feeling that it might be in his best interest to enter the transfer portal. Soon after, quarterback Caleb Williams began texting him to recruit him to USC. Williams also instructed more than a dozen of his teammates to do the same, telling them they needed Addison to be a difference-maker this season.

Even with as many receivers as USC added to the roster this offseason, it’s not hard to see how Addison could be a key addition. As a sophomore in 2021, Addison caught 100 passes for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns. He has unique speed, capable of reaching 23 miles per hour at his peak.

So the Trojans began the all-out press to recruit Addison. But he said Thursday it wasn’t all necessary. He was already intrigued by the opportunity of playing for Riley, with his history of producing NFL receivers. By the time he stepped on campus for his official visit, he said, his mind was already made up.

But he still pressed Riley for every detail during those initial film sessions.

“I just wanted to make sure they knew what my intention was and what my focus was going to be,” Addison said. “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.”

That did not, however, stop the allegations of foul play.

“We’ve worked hard through our careers as coaches, my career as a coach, to do things with integrity. I think we’ve largely done that throughout my career,” Riley said deliberately last week, carefully choosing each word. “When someone challenges that with no facts and just only emotion, yeah, I mean, I think you take it personally. Absolutely you do.”

Riley declined to say whether or not he had a reported phone call with Narduzzi about the allegations.

While he expressed gratitude for the opportunity he had at Pitt, Addison said he had not spoken with his former coach since he made those claims.

“They say it’s a business, so sometimes you gotta make decisions for you,” Addison said. “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.”

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