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Consistency Earns Freshman WR Jordan Addison Unprecedented Praise from Pat Narduzzi

Consistency Earns Freshman WR Jordan Addison Unprecedented Praise from Pat Narduzzi

Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi took the rare step on Monday of elevating freshman wide receiver Jordan Addison to a starting role in his first depth chart of the 2020 season.

How rare? It’s the first time that Narduzzi has listed a non-specialist true freshman as full-time starter since he’s been at Pitt.

The only two other freshmen to appear at the top line of the Week 1 depth chart in Narduzzi’s tenure were long snapper Cal Adomitis in 2017 and safety Jordan Whitehead, who was listed as a co-starter alongside sophomore Pat Amara in 2016. Amara started the opener before Whitehead took over for the final 12 games.

Addison has no such veteran hedge at slot receiver. Experienced Pitt slot receivers Tre Tipton and DJ Turner have instead been listed at flanker, behind Shocky Jacques-Louis, with just former walk-on John Vardzel behind Addison.

Not only that, he is also listed as Pitt’s starting punt returner and a co-starter with cornerback A.J. Woods at kick return.

All told, Addison seems poised to be Pitt’s biggest impact true freshman in the Narduzzi Era. The biggest separator, according to Narduzzi, has been the lack of typical freshman up-and-downs during his preparation for the season.

“He’s been consistent,” Narduzzi said on Monday. “Again, we’re always looking for consistency. I think that’s the key, knowing what you’re going to get day in, day out. I feel like Heinz Field is the only place that we haven’t seen him do it. Jordan has been as consistent as you can be.”

In fact, Narduzzi said that Addison has been one of the most consistent players in Pitt’s camp.
“Kenny Pickett has been really consistent, so has Jordan Addison, so has Wendell [Davis], so has Damar Hamlin, Patrick Jones, Rashad Weaver,” Narduzzi said. “I put him in that category. He’s just a puppy right now. Very, very consistent. I can count on one hand the amount of drops he’s ever had. You’re almost shocked if you see him drop a football. Now he’s got to go do it when the lights come on.”

Here’s all of the freshmen that have been listed as a starter or co-starter for Pitt under Narduzzi:

2019 vs Virginia

True freshmen: 0
Redshirt freshmen: 0

2018 vs Albany

True freshmen: 0
Redshirt freshmen: 1 (P Kirk Christodoulou)

2017 vs Youngstown State

True freshmen: 1 (LS Cal Adomitis)
Redshirt freshmen: 2 (C Jimmy Morrissey, PK Alex Kessman)

2016 vs Villanova

True freshmen: 0
Redshirt freshmen: 0

2015 vs Youngstown State

True freshmen: 1 (S Jordan Whitehead)
Redshirt freshmen: 1 (FB George Aston)

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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