Oklahoma quarterback, former Lincoln Riley recruit Caleb Williams enters the transfer portal
Caleb Williams is in the transfer portal.
The star Oklahoma quarterback, the guy everyone has had their eye on since Lincoln Riley packed up his home in Norman, Oklahoma, and moved out to Los Angeles, officially announced on Monday that he has put his name in the portal. A return to the Sooners is still on the table, the quarterback said, but it’s time to weigh his options.
— Caleb Williams (@CALEBcsw) January 3, 2022
“This season has been incredible,” Williams wrote. “Words can’t describe the amount of love I have for my teammates, coaches, and the Sooner Nation. The support everyone has shown me couldn’t be more appreciated, you guys are the best. As you all know the sudden changes this season sent shockwaves through Sooner Nation and were really hard for the whole team. Proud of what we did this whole season but especially the last four weeks.
“I think we all come to college to find our own path and prepare for the future. I came to Oklahoma with a game plan, but with all the recent changes, I need to figure out what is the right path for me moving forward. According to NCAA rules, as a student-athlete, the only way I can speak with other schools and see who may offer the best preparation and development for my future career is by entering the portal. Staying at OU will definitely be an option as I begin this process.”
Williams said he was going to take a few days to “decompress” and speak with his family. The Sooners’ season ended last Wednesday with a win over Oregon in the Alamo Bowl. The freshman quarterback was electric that day, going 21-for-27 on his pass attempts for 242 yards, three scores, and no interceptions to beat the Ducks 47-32.
Afterward, he raised eyebrows by saying, “We’ll see how Oklahoma does and how I decide,” when he was asked about his future with the program.
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.
A key reason for his initial commitment to the Sooners: Lincoln Riley. Williams once said he would have walked on at Oklahoma to play for Riley. Of course, he didn’t have to, but he began his first year in the program as the backup to Spencer Rattler. Williams took the starting job midway through the year thanks to an incredible display of passing and a 21-point comeback win he spurred over Texas, and he never gave the job back. Rattler transferred to South Carolina after the season.
USC has been heavily linked to Williams, given the relationship he shares with Riley, since the school announced Riley would become the new head coach. The Trojans have Jaxson Dart on the roster, a former 4-star and the Gatorade High School Player of the Year in 2020, and they have 5-star Malachi Nelson—an OU flip—coming in the 2023 class, but with Kedon Slovis leaving the program this offseason, there’s space for another in the room.
Williams would instantly elevate the Trojans, if he were to decide to follow his old head coach. He was named to the 247Sports and ESPN True Freshman All-America teams after throwing for 1,912 yards, 21 touchdowns and just four interceptions, while rushing for 442 yards and another six scores.