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Devy Spotlight: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Jordan Addison statistically is one of the best receivers in college football, the film backs that claim up and more. @MandrewNFL breaks dowb Addison in his latest devy spotlight!

Last year, both Pittsburgh and Jordan Addison took full advantage of what the ACC gave them. Pittsburgh would win the conference, and Addison would win the Biletnikoff Award. He would join the rare company in the team’s history as only Larry Fitzgerald had won the award previously. However, despite all the success, Addison wanted a change of scenery, and he got one. 

He is all set with a new home, a highly touted quarterback, and an offense predicted to set the pace in college football. The only question remains simple: What does his future hold from here? Has he hit the ceiling, or has he just gotten started? 

I personally think it’s the latter. 

The Biletnikoff Award Goes Hollywood

Before we get to present-day Addison, it is important to return to his roots, where he started. Addison would attend Tuscarora High School in Frederick, Maryland, where he played QB, DE, and of course, WR. He would commit to Pittsburgh in 2019 as a part of the 2020 class as a 3-star recruit. He didn’t come into the fold with crazy high school stats or production. What Addison brought with him was just a work ethic that would help him along the way. 

Once on the Oakland campus in Pittsburgh, Addison would waste no time. As a freshman, he would accumulate 724 total yards along with four touchdowns. Quarterback Kenny Pickett proved to have a connection with him, and when Pickett announced he was returning, people were excited. What no one expected, though, was the offensive explosion that we saw. Jordan Addison would rack up 100 receptions, 1,593 receiving yards, and 18 touchdowns. This would lead to the aforementioned Biletnikoff Award, but that wasn’t enough for him. 

Addison recognized he was becoming a face and a brand, and with the new NIL deals, he had a chance to cash in. He would enter the transfer portal and head west to Los Angeles to attend the new-look USC Trojans. New head coach Lincoln Riley brought his shiny quarterback Caleb Williams out west. Ultimately those two, with a NIL deal, would be enough to have Addison commit.

What You See When Watching Him 

Elusiveness

As for what we see on the field from Addison, it is a ton of good. His footwork and body control allow him to fit in tight windows between defenders. Several times when watching his film, you think to yourself, “okay, he’s done,” but then he makes two moves and is gone. Addison is right up with Jaxon Smith-Njigba in this class for me regarding elusiveness. 

Separation

So many times when watching Addison’s film, you don’t realize how open he truly is. By the time Pickett was throwing the ball, he already had five yards of separation from defenders. It’s unheard of; sometimes, you see it at FCS and lower cause of the standout athletes but never in the ACC. The speed and separation will translate, and he is already doing this to NFL-caliber corners. In the Pac-12, the defensive back play is a step above, and if he repeats against them, we have a new discussion.

Summary

We know Addison is good, and he is a good receiver in a not-so-great receiver class potentially. He has some big names to compete with at the top and deserves to be there. He does so many things on a great level, but he still has some things to work on. Once Addison gets polished up at USC, he has a real chance to be the first receiver off the board next April. At the very worst, he remains in round one but falls to a team with an explosive offense where he contributes on day one. 

The bottom line is this, Addison is in the tier one receivers in the 2023 class.

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