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#pounditSaturday, October 1, 2022

Lincoln Riley

USC WR Jordan Addison has blunt response to tampering allegations

Jordan Addison warming up

Sep 18, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) warms up before the game against the Western Michigan Broncos at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Addison transferred from Pittsburgh to USC this offseason amid accusations of tampering, and offered a simple response to those questioning the motive behind his decision.

Addison, last season’s Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation’s top wide receiver, departed for Southern California under some suspicion that he was leaving Pitt for name, image and likeness deals.

While speaking to reporters on Thursday for the first time since transferring to USC, Addison strongly rebuked the notion that his choice to transfer to USC was due to monetary reasons.

“Just some BS,” Addison said via Thuc Nhi Nguyen of the Los Angeles Times. “But I mean, 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.”

In May, Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi took a shot at Addison over Addison’s entry into the transfer portal. He felt that USC head coach Lincoln Riley was actively recruiting Addison. Riley took exception to Narduzzi’s accusations, and indicated that Addison’s transfer was only football-motivated.

Addison seemed to corroborate what Riley said when speaking to ESPN’s Paolo Uggetti in May at Steve Clarkson’s quarterbacks retreat in Santa Monica, Calif. The 20-year-old told Uggetti that his decision had to do with the opportunity to bring his game to new heights. Addison said the Trojans showed him the improvements he could make to become even better.

Addison had 100 catches for 1,593 yards and 17 receiving touchdowns last season. With a talented quarterback in Caleb Williams at the helm for the Trojan offense this season, Addison could be in line for another fantastic year.

Lincoln Riley not happy with Pat Narduzzi’s accusations

Lincoln Riley with USC

Apr 23, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans coach Lincoln Riley during the spring game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Lincoln Riley is not at all happy with the accusations from Pat Narduzzi.

Narduzzi took issue with Riley, feeling that the USC coach was actively recruiting former Pitt wide receiver Jordan Addison, who entered the transfer portal and eventually chose USC.

Riley fought off accusations from Narduzzi back in April and May. He once again addressed the accusations while speaking at the Pac-12’s media event. Riley said he took the accusations personally.

“When someone challenges that with no facts and only emotion, do you take it personally? Absolutely you do,” Riley said. “I understand this is an emotional time. It’s an emotional game with a lot of emotional people. We recruited Jordan just like we did every other transfer. Jordan got in the transfer portal. Jordan came on a visit to USC. Despite all the negative things that were put out magically by somebody, he’s a kid that’s all about ball.”

Riley went on to praise Addison, saying the former Pitt wide receiver is extremely focused on football. That is Riley’s way of trying to say that Addison’s transfer was solely football-motivated.

Addison was an All-American last season at Pitt. He had 100 catches for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns last season for the Panthers. But with Kenny Pickett gone in the NFL, Addison probably thought it would be a good time for him to transfer.

Lincoln Riley offers noteworthy comments Kyler Murray’s work ethic

Lincoln Riley with USC

Apr 23, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans coach Lincoln Riley during the spring game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals included a controversial study clause in Kyler Murray’s massive contract extension that brought Murray’s work ethic into question. But USC head coach Lincoln Riley, Murray’s college coach at Oklahoma, feels differently.

The clause, which the Cardinals removed on Wednesday, required Murray to put in four hours of independent study per week throughout the season.

Speaking to reporters during the Pac-12 Media Day on Friday, Riley said that Murray had a tireless work ethic while the two were at Oklahoma.

“Yes, I was concerned. I was concerned he would burn himself out,” Riley said via Action Network’s Brett McMurphy. “He pushes the limits. He loves football. He loves to compete & win. I never worried about the amount of preparation he put in.”

Murray appears to agree with Riley’s assessment. He spoke to the media in a surprise appearance on Thursday and said that questions surrounding his work ethic were “disrespectful.” Murray notably did not comment on whether he was mad at the Cardinals for including the clause.

The 24-year-old has had good results to start his NFL career. In three seasons, Murray has 11,480 passing yards and 70 touchdowns to 34 interceptions. He also has 1,786 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns.

Lincoln Riley reacts to monstrous Kyler Murray contract extension

Lincoln Riley with USC

Apr 23, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans coach Lincoln Riley during the spring game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals agreed to a contract extension on Thursday that made Murray the second-highest-paid quarterback in the NFL, and Murray’s former college coach was thrilled with the news.

Murray’s deal is worth $230.5 million over five years, including $160 million guaranteed. Only Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has a contract with more guaranteed money ($230 million).

Lincoln Riley, Murray’s college coach for two seasons at Oklahoma, reacted to Murray’s deal on Twitter with a prideful message for his former quarterback.

“So proud of @K1,” Riley wrote. “Anyone that knows him knows this isn’t why he does it. From conversations about even getting a shot to play in the NFL to today…couldn’t be happier for him and his family.”

Murray, who transferred from Texas A&M to Oklahoma in late 2015, had tremendous success with the Sooners while playing under Riley. The 24-year-old won the 2018 Heisman Trophy after throwing for 4,053 yards with 40 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also led the Sooners to a 12-1 record and a College Football Playoff berth that season.

Riley had a successful tenure at Oklahoma before leaving the school in late 2021 to take the head coaching job at USC. The Sooners went 55-10 during Riley’s five seasons, not including their win under interim head coach Bob Stoops during the Alamo Bowl last December.

Report: Pat Narduzzi furious with Lincoln Riley over reported transfer

Pat Narduzzi in a Pitt shirt

Oct 5, 2019; Durham, NC, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi looks on before the game against the Duke Blue Devils at Wallace Wade Stadium. The Pittsburgh Panthers defeated the Duke Blue Devils 33-30. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The overhaul of NCAA rules regarding transfers and NIL rights has led to a lot of new issues for coaches to deal with. It may also spark at least one high-level coaching feud.

Reports indicated Friday that Pitt wide receiver Jordan Addison is considering a transfer, with USC among the All-American’s potential destinations. Addison had 100 catches for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns last season.

The potential loss of Addison led Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi to make several calls to USC coach Lincoln Riley to express his displeasure, according to Pete Thamel of ESPN.

Pitt officials believe tampering may have occurred with Addison. Such charges would be difficult to prove, but they are likely fueling the anger from Pitt toward Riley and USC.

Riley has aggressively retooled the USC program since taking over as coach at the end of last season. That, combined with how he has conducted himself since the move, has made him some enemies, and Narduzzi may be one of them going forward.

Lincoln Riley buys massive $17.2 million mansion with ocean views

Lincoln Riley does Fight On sign

Lincoln Riley is living large in Los Angeles.

Riley shocked the college football world in November when he left Oklahoma to take the USC job. The Trojans handled the process in stealth fashion, as nobody knew Riley was headed there.

Riley chose to leave Oklahoma for USC in part because the Sooners were heading to the SEC, while USC is in the weaker Pac-12. Not only that, but the opportunity to coach and live in Los Angeles was very attractive to Riley. He was paid huge money by the Trojans, and he also bought one heck of a house.

Dirt.com reported on Tuesday that Riley paid $17.2 million for a 13,000 square foot mansion in Palos Verdes, Calif. The mansion is a historic Spanish Revival-style residence known as the “Roessler Estate,” named after Fred Roessler, the first mayor of Palos Verdes. It contains seven bedrooms and 12 bathrooms.

The mansion overlooks the ocean and includes “an elevator, seven fireplaces, a movie theater, tennis court, putting green, sauna and steam rooms, a 600-bottle wine room and a generator.”

Here is a video of the property:

Riley got a massive contract from USC and the house to match.

With a property like that, who would ever want to leave the house?

Photo: Nov 29, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Lincoln Riley poses with Fight on sign during a press conference to introduce Riley as Southern California Trojans head coach. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Lincoln Riley shares insulting comment about USC transfers

Lincoln Riley does Fight On sign

Lincoln Riley shared a pretty insulting comment about the transfers he has landed since taking the USC job.

Riley, who became USC’s head coach in November, shocked the college football world when he left Oklahoma for the job with the Trojans.

It didn’t take long for some of the recruits Riley had lined up at Oklahoma to flip to USC. Next, Riley started locking up some former Sooners players.

First, former Oklahoma receiver Mario Williams transferred to USC. Most recently, it was Caleb Wiliams who transferred from Oklahoma to USC.

In an interview with Colin Cowherd on Tuesday from Radio Row at the Super Bowl, Riley defended his transfers. He said he “didn’t take players from Oklahoma. We took players from the transfer portal.”

Come on, Lincoln. You really expect us to buy that? You recruited the players to Oklahoma. Then you got them to follow you to USC. You didn’t just pluck random players from the portal with whom you had no previous connection.

Does he really think he has us fooled with this kind of wordplay?

Photo: Nov 29, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Lincoln Riley poses with Fight on sign during a press conference to introduce Riley as Southern California Trojans head coach. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tosh Lupoi has some trash talk for USC coach Lincoln Riley

Tosh Lupoi talks

New Oregon defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi is wasting no time trying to establish rivalries in the Pac-12. That included some trash talk for Lincoln Riley during signing week.

Lupoi played at Cal from 2000-2005 and then coached at his alma mater from 2008-2011. He coached at Washington thereafter and became known for his recruiting prowess. That led him to Alabama, where he coached from 2014-2018.

In the 2018 season, Lupoi was the defensive coordinator for Alabama. They lost to Clemson in the national championship that year. But before reaching that game, they beat Riley’s Oklahoma Sooners 45-34.

Lupoi was asked during a Signing Day event on Wednesday whether he wears his national championship rings while recruiting. Someone also brought up Riley in the context of Oklahoma’s CFP experiences.

That’s when Lupoi flexed about how his defense shut down Riley’s offense, which included Kyler Murray.

“He did get close (to winning a national championship),” Lupoi said of Riley. “Real close. We actually played them. I was the defensive coordinator on the other side of the line. He had a guy named Kyler Murray. Really good player. It was 28-0 in the first quarter. But he did get close, you’re right.”

You have to love that attitude.

Bama got out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and led 28-0 early in the second. It wasn’t until later in the second half that the Sooners offense started to figure things out and making the final score look respectable.

The Pac-12 has very much become a forgotten conference in college football. But Riley at USC and Lupoi at Oregon could help add some spice back to the conference.

Lincoln Riley adds another ex-Oklahoma star at USC

Lincoln Riley does Fight On sign

Lincoln Riley continues to work the transfer portal to bring talent he knows well to USC.

Wide receiver Mario Williams, who played for Riley in 2021 at Oklahoma, announced Saturday that he will transfer to USC. The announcement was accompanied by a social media video of Williams posing in front of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Williams made an impact as a true freshman in 2021, catching 35 passes for 380 yards and four touchdowns. A highly-touted recruit out of high school, his move to the Trojans will add further depth and talent to a rapidly improving roster.

There’s no reason to believe Riley is done working the transfer portal to bring in talent. In fact, there is some reason to believe the biggest name may be yet to come.

Photo: Nov 29, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Lincoln Riley poses with Fight on sign during a press conference to introduce Riley as Southern California Trojans head coach. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Lincoln Riley has interesting explanation for taking USC job

Lincoln Riley does Fight On sign

Lincoln Riley’s decision to leave Oklahoma for USC came as a real shocker. One of the big reasons for the confusion was what Riley had to gain by doing it. He has been successful at Oklahoma and had the full support of the program, so the logical conclusion for many was that it was about the money.

Riley offered a different explanation, and a very interesting one at that. The coach suggested that he thought his ceiling at USC would be higher than it was at Oklahoma.

“One of the things I evaluated in this opportunity is I think we can build one of the best rosters in the country,” Riley told Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks of the “Move The Sticks” podcast. “I don’t think. I know we can. … As college football is changing and a lot of things are shifting, each program, you’ve got to have your niche. You’ve got to have your thing that separates you or makes you different. I think this is one of the most unique settings and unique opportunities in college football, not just for coaches, but for players.

“My confidence level that we can build a roster that will be as good as anybody in the country is very high. It’s because of the people here and the opportunities here and I think that’s something that can happen very quickly.”

Oklahoma fans will be even more peeved by Riley’s comment, as it can be taken as a suggestion that the Sooners can’t compete as capably with college football’s elite. Riley’s calculation might be pretty sound, though. Oklahoma’s coming move to the SEC may be beneficial financially, but winning games will be harder in a much more difficult conference. By comparison, the Pac-12 is much more winnable. Plus, Southern California is a hotbed of talent to recruit, and Riley has already been successful in doing so.

To his credit, Riley has tried to soothe the emotions of Oklahoma fans. Right now, there is almost nothing he can say to do so. Remarks like this will probably just make it worse for the time being, whatever the rationale might be.

Photo: Nov 29, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Lincoln Riley poses with Fight on sign during a press conference to introduce Riley as Southern California Trojans head coach. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports