Last year, Jordan Addison made his decision to leave the Pittsburgh Panthers for USC in an announcement that set the college football world on fire. It was a move that was analyzed at length both at that moment and throughout the college football season. While the ensuing storm of allegations of tampering and NIL ran rampant, looking back, Addison has no regrets about his decision to depart for Los Angeles.
“Everything I do, I always live and learn from it,” Addison said at the NFL Combine. “You know, I learned a lot. So, I don’t never have no regrets. I always think everything through, all my decisions”
While Addison’s departure is still something that elicits a reaction from the Pitt fan base, he and his former teammates still are as close as they were while he was still at the program.
“I got a couple of guys out here that I’m real close with, and we always be on the game, like every day,” Addison said. “So, it’s really like I never left. I talk to them almost every day.”
There may be no teammate that Addison is closer with than now Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett. The two players worked tirelessly together to grow from three-star prospects to now two potential NFL first-round selections. Addison and Pickett were a nightmare for opposing college football defensive coordinators and combined for 160 catches, 2,259 yards, and 21 touchdowns. Addison took home the Biletnikoff Award while Pickett was named a Heisman Finalist in their final years at Pitt in 2021.
“We had a really good relationship,” Addison said. “Coming in, I wanted to make sure I was looked at as a really focused individual. So once I got there, he noticed that. Say we’re going through routes, he wanted to make sure I was the first receiver up so we could start that connection early and we just transferred that off the field and we built it.”
We have seen numerous college quarterbacks reunite with their playmakers in the NFL over the years. Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase, Trevor Lawerence and Travis Etienne, Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith, and Tua Tagovailoa and Jaylen Waddle all come to mind when pairing together young players on rookie contracts together to try to recreate the college success at the next level. According to Jordan Addison, that would be a trend he would like to see continue.
“If we reunite, that’d be good,” Addison said. “That’d be real cool. Real easy transition… come get me.”
The Steelers have needs across the board and in the first round and wide receiver might not initially feel like one of them. Dionte Johnson may be coming off a down year but has shown a knack for production that led to a contract extension from the Steelers. George Pickens was a second-round gem for the black and gold with 801 yards and four touchdowns while emerging as Pickett’s favorite pass catcher. Beyond that, the depth of the room is to be determined. With a strong showing on Saturday, would that be enough to convince Colbert to take a receiver in the first round since 2006? It is unlikely but in today’s NFL of loading up as many pass catchers as possible to support a rookie scale quarterback, you can never say never.
If it does happen, Addison will welcome it with open arms to come back to a city he still has love for. As always, Hail to Pitt.