Lincoln Riley isn’t altering transfer portal recruiting that irked Pat Narduzzi

USC football coach Lincoln Riley watches offensive players run a drill in practice in March. Riley said he would be aggressive in recruiting. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Since he was first handed the reins of a USC roster in desperate need of a rebuild, Lincoln Riley was clear about his intentions regarding the NCAA transfer portal. He planned to use it voraciously, turning over nearly half the program by mining the portal like arguably no coach has before.

“I’d say we’re open for business on all accounts,” Riley declared in December.

He has essentially cornered the transfer market since, reeling in 15 new USC players, including two in the past week alone. But Riley’s aggressive approach amid the changing marketplace has also ruffled feathers, first across the state of Oklahoma and now in Western Pennsylvania, where the potential transfer of college football’s top receiver has sparked accusations of tampering.

Jordan Addison had yet to enter the portal when ESPN reported Friday night that the All-American receiver was mulling the possibility of leaving Pittsburgh for USC. The scenario was apparently dire enough to Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi that he called Riley multiple times Friday to express his discontent. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh officials told ESPN and the Athletic they suspected USC had tampered with their star receiver.

USC officials wouldn’t comment on the accusations. Addison has until Sunday to decide whether he’ll officially enter the transfer portal. If he does, the intrigue surrounding USC’s likely pursuit of the top receiver is sure to deepen further.

The initial connection between Addison and USC, according to a person familiar with the situation not authorized to speak publicly about it, stems from a prior relationship with Caleb Williams, the Trojans new quarterback, who also hails…


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