Joel Klatt thinks Caleb Williams makes USC a top-10 team, 'solid dark horse' for College Football Playoff in 2022
Lincoln Riley landed the big fish Tuesday.
Former Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams announced his commitment to USC, setting up a reunion with Riley, who recruited him to and coached him with the Sooners last season before jumping to Los Angeles. Williams was a Freshman All-American and ranked as the No. 1 transfer player this cycle by 247Sports.
With his addition, Riley has the headliner for a class of transfer players and high school recruits that has completed reshaped the skill talent on the Trojans’ roster. USC has the third-best transfer class in the country by 247Sports’ rankings, and the 12th-best overall class (transfers and high school recruits) this cycle.
And with all that new talent coming to town, FOX college football analyst Joel Klatt thinks the Trojans are immediately one of the top teams in the country and a dark horse threat to make the College Football Playoff in 2022.
With Caleb Williams at QB @USC_FB will likely be a top 10 team and a solid dark horse pick for the CFP in 2022…CFB has desperately needed west coast/Pac 12 relevance and it seems we now have it! @LincolnRiley
— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) February 1, 2022
USC went 4-8 last season, playing through most of the year with an interim coach after dismissing Clay Helton in early September. And the Trojans haven’t won double-digit games in a normal season since 2017. (They went 5-1 during the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign, finishing No. 21 in the AP poll.)
They have yet to make an appearance in the College Football Playoff, but with Williams and Riley spearheading the offense, it’s a new day in Southern California.
Still, USC will have to contend with both Oregon in the Pac-12 North and defending Pac-12 champs Utah in the South. The Utes return key pieces from the 2021 Rose Bowl squad, including quarterback Cameron Rising, and are widely viewed as the favorite to repeat as Pac-12 champions.
USC will face Utah in Salt Lake City on Oct. 15. The Trojans aren’t scheduled to meet the Ducks in the regular season; if they do face off it would be for a Pac-12 title.