Caleb Williams is seeking 'immortality' with USC in 2023
Caleb Williams wants one thing out of what is expected to be his final season at USC. He wants a ring.
Everything else is secondary. The NFL Draft can wait. Comparisons to NFL greats can wait. Preseason watch lists and awards and recognition are nice, but they’re a footnote in the story Williams hopes to author in 2023.
“We’ve got a special team this year,” Williams said.
It was a special team last year, one that rebounded from a 4-8 slog to go 11-3 and play in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Williams won a Heisman Trophy for his part in that success.
But the burden of getting that good that fast is when it ends the way it ended for USC, it doesn’t feel like a success. Losses to Utah in the league’s title game and Tulane in the Cotton Bowl highlighted USC’s flaws and left a bad taste in the team’s mouth heading into the offseason.
This group of Trojans wants to contend for not just a conference championship but a national championship.
They certainly have the quarterback in place to make a run at the College Football Playoff, and Williams has never shied away from that goal.
He wants a ring, but ever since he first lifted the Heisman Trophy, he’s talked about what a title would mean to him beyond just that ring. Immortality is a word that has been tossed around.
Should Williams win a second Heisman, he’d go into the history books as just the second player in the history of the sport to win the award twice.
Should he lead his team to a title, he could go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks in college football history. Only eight quarterbacks in the history of the sport have won a Heisman and a title in the same year. Two of those guys did it prior to 1950.
Plus, winning it all at a place like USC would carry a significance all its own.
Immortality isn’t exactly out of reach for Williams this season.
“You gotta go on the field and make special plays, be special,” he said when asked what the word meant to him. “You’ve gotta work hard day in and day out.
“Immortality comes from championships and things like that. I haven’t reached one here in college yet. We’ve got a special moment here this year to be able to go reach one. It’s a special word to me because it’s a word that you touch rooms and your name reaches rooms that you may never step foot in. That’s important to me.”
USC opens the season at home against San Jose State on Saturday. Trips to Notre Dame and Oregon come in the final six weeks of the regular season for the Trojans, as do home dates with Utah and Washington.
The opportunity will present itself for Williams and his teammates.
“It’s something we’re gonna try and reach this year,” he said.