How Jordan Addison’s cornerback experience sets him apart as USC’s top receiver

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It took Jordan Edison just one step to learn he had the upper hand.

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The signs were in the moments before the USC wideout dazzling 75-yard score Last week, if you knew where to find them. First, there was the single deep Stanford safety, hoping to prevent USC quarterback Caleb Williams from chucking downfield for the best deep-ball receiver in college football. Edison knew there was no need to worry; The security would of course creep into the slot to cover the passage below, leaving a lot of open grass behind it.

The most important thing came out from every corner of Edison. The Trojans’ top receiver watched as he lined up on his outside shoulder, preparing for man coverage. So Edison forced his choice, taking his within shoulders, before bursting into hyper drive over a deep post. Till that time no one was stopping him.


“I made sure I kept him out and worked the entire left side of the field,” Edison said. “Caleb bowled a good ball, hit me with a stride and the rest is history.”

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USC’s starting quarterback and its top receiver could be on their way to making history this season if their connection continues to develop. While Williams finds herself near the top of the opening Heisman Trophy race, Edison’s receiving four touchdowns through two games at USC gave her a season school record of 16 shared by Dwayne Jarrett (2005) and Mike Williams (2003). has the speed to break. Edison took the top spot last year that season, scoring 17 times for Pittsburgh on his way to winning the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top receiver.

Most of those scores looked like that deep shot at Stanford. Edison’s ten touchdowns last season came from at least 20 yards and 28% of his goals came from that distance.

It’s not hard to see why. Edison’s deep pace is undoubtedly his most dangerous asset, which any self-respecting offensive coordinator would want to take advantage of.

“Catching Deep Pass, that’s the fun part,” Edison said. “Just put the ball up in the air, and I’m going to take it.”

Growing up outside of Baltimore, speed was always the measure that mattered most to Edison.

“We used to run in the park all the time,” Edison said. “Elementary school all the way, that’s all it’s been racing.”

USC wide receiver Jordan Edison runs after catching a pass to score a 22-yard touchdown against Stanford on September 10.
(Godofredo A. Vasquez/The Associated Press)

“Playing in my past, you know what they don’t want to do… Knowing their loss, it helps a lot.”

— Jordan Edison

He didn’t lose many of those races. Among the neighborhood kids, it gave Edison a certain cachet.

“As a kid, when you’re fast, you got females,” Edison said with a smile. “You beat someone in the race.”

But speed was far from Edison’s only asset. He played quarterback through Pop Warner. At Tuscarora High, Edison was also a skilled cornerback—in fact, talented enough, that Notre Dame offered him a scholarship as a defensive back.

The combination of those responsibilities would later give them an almost unnatural feel for the passing game. Teammates and coaches have regularly supplemented his football IQ since his arrival in the summer.

“Playing corners in my past, you know what they don’t want to do,” Edison said. “They don’t like when you get up on their toes because it puts them in a state of stress where they just have to react. Knowing their shortcomings helps a lot.”

Edison considered playing cornerback in college, but talks with his older brother Michael convinced him to remain at receiver, where he was expected to emulate the likes of Stephen Diggs and Calvin Ridley.

“He told me, ‘You need the ball in your hands,'” Edison recalled. “So I stuck with it, and I think it’s paying off.”

It didn’t take long for USC either to understand that the ball was best in their hands. Edison has twice as many catches (12) through two games as any other Trojan receiver, even though he only had one summer to fit into new coach Lincoln Riley’s system and forge a relationship with Williams. fell down.

His relationship with the quarterback, who also hails from the DC area, was not always as smooth as it seems now.

“Worked through a lot of kinks,” Riley said. “There were definitely times during camp where you could tell it just wasn’t enough. But it just continues to build. They are people who have a lot of confidence in their abilities and trust in each other.”

There was no lack of confidence as Williams bounced back last Saturday and landed a 75-yard deep shot in Edison’s direction. It was just the second downfield pass Williams has attempted for Edison this season. But moments before the snap, as Edison searched the defense for clues, the receiver said he could understand that Williams saw what he was looking for.

He knew that Edison had external leverage. So Williams cut the ball, saw the single high safety and ripped it, knowing he could rely on his fast top receiver when it landed.

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