Jordan Addison joins USC: All-American WR gives Trojans game-changing playmaker for 2022 season

USC has landed a monumental signing of former Pitt wide receiver Jordan Addison, the junior announced Thursday. Addison, a 2021 All-American and reigning Biletnikoff Award winner, chose the Trojans over strong pitches from Texas and Alabama, along with an opportunity to return to the Panthers just over two weeks after entering the portal.

Addison is a breakthrough addition to coach Lincoln Riley’s debut campaign at USC. A Frederick, Maryland native, Addison caught 100 passes for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns during a sophomore breakout season that culminated in Pitt’s first ACC championship. Addison’s performance was so impressive that he even helped Panthers quarterback Kenny Picket earn a trip to New York as a Heisman finalist (and later a first-round pick in the NFL draft).

The Trojans were the favorite to land Addison from the beginning after pulling together the nation’s No. 1 transfer class. Riley brought along quarterback Caleb Williams and receiver Mario Williams from Oklahoma, among others, as well as running back Travis Dye (Oregon), receiver Brenden Rice (Colorado) and offensive tackle Bobby Haskins (Virginia). However, Addison is entitled to be the nation’s top signing – if not one of the top signings in recent memory. Along with Williams, Addison would help create one of college football’s most dynamic offenses in 2022.

Here are the key takeaways from Addison’s decision to join Riley’s offense in Los Angeles.

Fits perfectly

Addison played at Tuscarora High School, just an hour from Williams at Gonzaga High School in Washington, DC. The pair had several joint offers during his visits to the transfer portal and reportedly stayed in touch while Addison went through his transfer process.

Now the pair are gearing up to play for one of the greatest offensive heads in college football. Riley produced two Heisman quarterbacks and three finalists during his five-year tenure as Oklahoma coach. Receivers have also benefited from Riley’s development, with stars like CeeDee Lamb going through the Sooners program before finding success with the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL.

With Williams and Addison on board, USC is poised to have one of college football’s most talented offenses. Even more so than Pitt, the Trojans should give Addison an opportunity to show his talent.

A heavy blow to Pitt

It’s not just Addison shaking things up as the Panthers went through a massive period of change during the offseason. Quarterback Kedon Slovis transferred from USC to replace Pickett; Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple went to Nebraska and was replaced by Frank Cignetti Jr. of Boston College; and wide receivers coach Brennan Marion, a rising star in the industry, headed to Texas.

Addison thrived during his two years with Pitt, clearing for 2,000 yards and trailing only Larry Fitzgerald to equal the program’s one-season receiving record. However, that wasn’t to be the offense Pitt drove to an ACC championship with. While Addison could have made the transition easier for Slovis and the new staff, the Panthers are now starting over.

No freetime

The pressure to perform has never been more felt for top-flight coaches, but thanks to the transfer portal, Riley has completely transformed his roster in an offseason.

Caleb Williams, Mario Williams and Addison provided one of the most dynamic passing attacks in the country from day one. Dye rushed for nearly 1,300 yards and 16 touchdowns for an Oregon squad that made the Pac-12 championship game. The Trojans also added 10 defensive transfers to try and fill in gaps quickly.

Historically, conversions go through a three-year process: evaluation, development and competition. With the transfer portal, Riley has quickly raised expectations to be in contention for college football playoff spots — and more — in time for his first game on campus. All eyes will be on Los Angeles when the season kicks off on September 3 against Rice. Jordan Addison joins USC: All-American WR gives Trojans game-changing playmaker for 2022 season

Justin Scacco

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