The most prolific performer to enter the NCAA transfer portal this offseason has found a destination.
Former Pittsburgh wide receiver Jordan Addison will move to USC to play this fall, he advertised on social media Thusday.
— Jordan Addison (@Espn_Jordan) May 19, 2022
Addison made an official visit to USC last weekend and will reunite with star quarterback Caleb Williams, both of whom are from the Washington, DC area. Addison’s decision to go to USC gives coach Lincoln Riley the two most important transfer additions of the offseason, as Addison and Williams were arguably the most coveted players to enter the portal.
In his statement posted on social media, Addison called the decision “very difficult” and said he would be forever grateful to the University of Pittsburgh.
“Winning an ACC Championship is forever ours. These true friendships will last. A part of me will always be H2P,” he wrote.
“I have now carefully considered the advice of my family and close friends and have fully weighed the risks and benefits associated with my decision. I also respect that others may make a different choice. But for me, I will continue my full development as a student-athlete by enrolling at USC.”
Addison earned first-team All-American honors in Pittsburgh last season and won the Biletnikoff Award for the nation’s most outstanding receiver. He entered the NCAA transfer portal on May 3 and made visits to USC and Texas. He considered staying in Pitt and also considered Alabama and Oregon, but didn’t end up visiting either school.
Addison’s move west is a blow for Pittsburgh, as the defending ACC champion lost its best returning player after going 11-3 last season. USC went 4-8 and rebuilt its roster so significantly in Riley’s freshman year that the majority of next season’s starters are expected to come from the NCAA transfer portal.
Pitt’s trainer Pat Narduzzi had several contentious phone calls with Riley shortly after Addison addressed the gate entrance, sources told ESPN earlier in the month. No known evidence of tampering has emerged, however.
Addison’s transfer was seen as the beacon of an off-season filled with change. The notion of established hopping programs for underclassmen wasn’t something that happened in college football until recently. Thanks to a wave of rule changes – including unique transfer rules – the fluid movement of players is now part of the sport’s landscape.
Although Williams’ transfer was seen as a collision of a one-time transfer and name, image and likeness rules, it was seen through a different lens because his college coach at Oklahoma, Riley, left. for USC and Williams followed him. Addison’s transfer to USC reinforced the reality that all rosters are fluid and the biggest stars in the sport can move from program to program with relative ease.
Sources made it clear to ESPN throughout the process that Addison’s professional future was going to drive his decision-making.
The addition of Addison gives USC one of the best wide receiver pairs in the country, as he will join Oklahoma transfer Mario Williams there. Addison caught 100 passes for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. He projects himself as a 2023 NFL first-round pick but, at 6 feet tall and 175 pounds, he’s unlikely to make the top-10.
Mario Williams, who earned ESPN True Freshman All-American honors last year, caught 35 balls for 380 yards and four touchdowns. Brenden Rice, the son of NFL legend Jerry Rice, was also transferred from Colorado, where he averaged 14.2 yards per catch last season.
Addison’s transfer further bolsters the optimism behind Riley’s hiring at USC, as the appeal of the prolific offenses he built and called up in Oklahoma shifts to Los Angeles. Although USC’s offensive line has issues and the defense was one of the worst in the conference last season, there are key players who have traded to rejuvenate the Trojans on the offensive side of the ball.