LOS ANGELES — Heading into its first training camp under Lincoln Riley, the USC football team addresses Los Angeles media for the first time this summer, offering access to Jordan Addison for the first time, among others.

Several storylines emerged from an eventful day, which featured more than two dozen Trojan football players and coaches, as well as brief opening remarks from Riley.

Here’s a look at what we’re keeping tabs on heading into the season…

USC gets its swagger back

Countless words have been written about the new-look USC Trojans and their influx of talent. Both nationally and locally, though, the returning Trojans have been overlooked.

Now with their mojo back after a spring ball that included the top transfer class in the country, USC’s returning players have that snarl on their faces and that shimmy to their walks.

“The swagger, we carry around every single day,” standout DB Calen Bullock said. “We know what we have to do to get to that goal. … Last year, we didn’t have that swagger to us. That USC swagger, how we know USC plays football, what we’ve seen growing up. We’re bringing that back into the program.”

Getting over it

When you transfer into a program coming off a 4-8 season, you wonder how the players are going to be. Sturdy and confident, or shell-shocked and non-committal? That is especially true at a USC, where no one in the program expects to win just 4 games. That’s an average September, not a full season.

When former Washington wideout Terrell Bynum arrived at USC, he wasn’t sure the kind of attitudes to expect. Would they be broken down, in need of a rebuild?

“They were already passed it,” Bynum said. “They’ve been through a lot of adversity. They knew that wasn’t the standard. Having Coach Riley come in and implement hit stuff as well, we’re here to do everything now. It’s not a rebuilding year.”

Riley, the Great Cornholio

Riley has been noted as one of the game’s most exciting young coaches, but maybe exciting isn’t the right word. Maybe the word is excitable.

Will Riley’s always-on energy translate to his players immediately? If he does, the Trojans should be strong out of the gate.

“I’ve noticed that about him; recruiting events, anything, (he sees) a game of cornhole, let’s go,” offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Josh Henson said. “He’s drawn to it. Let’s go. Let’s play. He just loves to compete. You see it everywhere. He lights up when the competition gets going.”

Bigger, better, bolder

When asked what made him impressed and excited about Riley’s offense, Henson noted that there’s no such thing as playing it safe. Last year, the USC offense was stagnant at times, lacking creativity and boldness.

That won’t happen this year.

“(Riley) is not, ‘Oh, what bad things can happen?’ It’s, ‘What if we hit it?’” Henson said. “That’s always his thought process and personality. We’re not going to operate out of fear. We’re going to coach hard and execute and we’re going to go for it.”

Familiar faces

One of the biggest changes to come to college football in recent years: The frequency with which players are transferring within their conference and playing immediately. Eight of USC’s 20 transfers came from the Pac-12 confines, including former Oregon running back Travis Dye and former Washington wide receiver Terrell Bynum.

Former Utah running backs coach Kiel McDonald got a chance to see both from the opposing sidelines. He made sure to keep his eye on opposing backs, so he caught a fair share of Dye, especially with the Utes and Ducks battling twice last year.

“You’re getting a chance to watch not only your guys,” McDonald said. “It’s a good tool to be able to coach your younger guys. You don’t ever want to miss a moment.”

Add-ing up

While several former Pac-12 players kept it close, one of the furthest transfers is certainly the most highly touted. Former Pitt wide receiver Jordan Addison, the 2021 Fred Biletnikoff Award Winner, has made a quick impression on his Trojan teammates.

Though his arrival was marked with controversy – unwarranted controversy, Addison said – his teammates paid no mind.

“Jordan Addison is a freak of nature,” Dye said. “That man can run like a gazelle, has hands like nobody’s business. I compare him to Calvin Ridley. Has that kind of running style, cuts are super-smooth. I’m excited to go out there and watch him in pads.”

Open competition

While some positions are just about sewn up, a handful of positions are up for grabs.

McDonald said the running back position is one of them, despite the arrival of Dye. USC also welcomes former highly touted Stanford running back Austin Jones, TCU transfer Darwin Barlow, as well as Raleek Brown, the No. 3 running back recruit in the nation out of Mater Dei High.

“Everybody is even – there is no starting running back at USC,” McDonald said. “They’re going to come compete and they’re going to figure it out. That’s the fair thing to do. We got a chance to see some things in the spring; well, the spring is the spring. You have to compete and strain. Darwin is very much in the mix, just like everyone else.”

Expecting unexpected

To a man, every USC player and coach welcomed the outsized expectations befalling a team that had just 4 wins last season. The Trojans are ready to live up to them, rather than run from them.

Of course, Riley set an early standard when he said this team was expecting to play for championships. Those were bold words, but his staff and players are buying in.

“Being a part of an organization here and (those) in my past, there’s a different level of expectation in just being here,” said inside linebackers coach Brian Odom, who followed Riley to Los Angeles after 3 seasons with the Sooners. “The quarterback position here (for example), people have a tradition about being a little bit better than the rest. There’s a different level of expectations here, and it’s almost unspoken. You don’t need to talk about it. You can’t touch it, but you can feel it.”

We still here

Given that USC won just 33 percent of its games last year, it might be tempting to count the recruiting Trojans out and focus solely on the new blood. That would be foolish.

This is USC, after all. They’re not recruiting scrubs.

One player primed for a breakout year is sophomore Korey Foreman, who had 2.5 sacks in 11 appearances last year. He was the top-rated defensive lineman in the country coming out of Corona Centennial High, though for a long time he ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect by 247Sports.

“He’s a very naturally gifted football player,” assistant head coach for defense Roy Manning said of Foreman. “Sometimes you attach ratings and things, but I’ve played football my whole life, played in the NFL, and when I say gifted, I’m saying things that are natural. Man, just the little things. It’s not that he runs a 4- whatever 40. It’s how a guy can move and bend and do certain things, how powerful he is in short areas. Things you don’t always see on a highlight.”

Taking charge

Several Trojans talked about the need for a “player-led” team, rather than one led by the coaching staff. Bullock admitted that in the muck of last season, it was hard to get the requisite buy-in from USC players stunned both by losing games and their head coach.

“I see the ownership a lot more,” Bullock said. “I wouldn’t say anyone was slacking off, the way the season went, it was a rollercoaster. Losing our coach after the second game of the season made people hate it in the locker room, even if it made people happy on the outside.”