The Jordan Addison conversation won’t go away anytime soon (sorry to be the bearer of bad news), but it’s become clear why USC coach Lincoln Riley was so intent on adding the Biletnikoff winner to his already loaded wide receiver group.
He needs to win — and win now.
The details of Riley’s contract are difficult to pin down — USC is a private institution — but its total value in salary has been reported by various media outlets at $110 million.
There are also reports USC bought Riley’s two homes in Norman, Okla., for $500,000 over the asking price, amounting to a $1 million bonus.
Addison is one of four high-profile wide receivers who have transferred to USC to play for Riley, a noted molder of the passing game who numbers Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray among his pupils.
Addison’s new teammates include Terrell Bynum (Washington), five-star recruit Mario Williams (Oklahoma) and Jerry Rice’s son, Brenden Rice (Colorado).
It’s not outrageous to believe Addison is better than all of them. The crowd of 45,183 people at Heinz Field on Nov. 20 wouldn’t argue.
That’s the day Addison leaped high to snatch a pass from Virginia’s Darrius Bratton, turned and sprinted into the end zone to secure Pitt’s ACC championship-clinching victory. It was his fourth touchdown catch among 14 receptions for 202 yards.
Bynum, Rice and Williams might have been enough to carry USC’s passing game this season, but Addison is a difference maker.
Just as Pitt would have been on the cusp of another special season if Addison had stayed, USC looks like, at least, the favorite to win the Pac-12.
With so much money thrown at Riley and the reported riches set aside for Addison from USC’s name, image and likeness collectives, the pressure to win will be intense.
It’s a complicated situation that will also have off-the-field ramifications , including NCAA legislation that in a best-case scenario will aim to regulate boosters trying to lure players to their schools. Addison did n’t start the mass movement into the transfer portal, but his case underscores what universities and their fans must confront and accept.
For example, Pitt fans won’t be willing to accept anything less than another top-15 finish and ACC Coastal championship — even without Addison.
On the other hand, it will be fun to chart how Addison’s numbers stack up against those wide receivers he left behind at Pitt — Jared Wayne, Konata Mumpfield and several others.
Will Kedon Slovis and/or Nick Patti find the same success USC fans are expecting from Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams, another transfer?
Should be grand theater.
One request: Can we somehow rework some contracts so Pitt can play USC in the Rose Bowl?
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .