Lincoln Riley's former QB, Caleb Williams, raises eyebrows with comments on his future after bowl win
Since Lincoln Riley arrived in Los Angeles and designs of how to resurrect USC were laid on the table, all eyes have been on the quarterback spot.
The Trojans have Jaxson Dart on the roster, a former 4-star and the Gatorade High School Player of the Year in 2020. They have 5-star Malachi Nelson coming in the 2023 class. But Riley has been brutally honest about wanting to quickly and drastically flip this USC roster in a short amount of time, seemingly signaling he intends to win right away.
Given his reputation and prior work with quarterbacks, Riley has earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to whoever he picks to lead the 2022 Trojans, but there’s been a tremendous amount of speculation that player could come from the transfer portal. And, more specifically, that that player might be Sooner quarterback Caleb Williams.
Williams once said he would have walked on at Oklahoma to play for Riley. The true freshman quarterback took the job midway through the year from a guy who opened the season a Heisman frontrunner and never gave it back. And on Wednesday, Williams led a dazzling display of passing—21-for-27, 242 yards, three scores, no interceptions—to beat Oregon 47-32 in the Alamo Bowl.
But after the game, when he was asked about his future, Williams was elusive.
“I’m about to go on vacation with my family,” the quarterback said when asked by reporters if he had made a decision to return to Oklahoma next season. “I haven’t been on a vacation for a really long time and after all of this, ups and downs, I want to go on vacation, spend time with my family, focus on that, and that’s it.”
Asked a follow-up about his early impressions of the new coaching staff coming to Norman, Oklahoma, to replace Riley, Williams said he’d talked on the phone with OU’s new offensive coordinator daily since arriving in San Antonio and that new head coach Brett Venables was “the right guy” for the job.
“We’ll see how Oklahoma does and how I decide,” he said.
Williams was the seventh-ranked player overall in the class of 2021 and the second-ranked quarterback prospect, per the 247 Composite. He committed to Riley and OU during the extended recruiting dead period brought on by COVID-19, and when his senior season in Washington, D.C., was canceled, he and his family moved to Oklahoma to allow him to enroll early for the spring semester at OU, according to The Athletic’s Jason Kersey.
Since Kedon Slovis hit the transfer portal earlier this month, things have been quiet on the quarterback front for the Trojans.
With Oklahoma’s season now over, we’ll see if that continues to be the case.
It was easy to do because it was the right thing to do! I appreciate all of you guys accepting me. I promise you this is the place to be. @CoachVenables and @Coach_Leb will keep this thing rollin! Keep the hat for an NIL deal!! https://t.co/VAE9lEYaG2
— Bob Stoops (@CoachBobStoops) December 30, 2021