QB Caleb Williams, The Prize Transfer In This Year’s Portal, Follows Lincoln Riley To USC | The Trojans Are Back On Top

The USC Trojans and Lincoln Riley have hit a lot of home runs via the transfer portal, but none bigger and more vital than landing quarterback Caleb Williams.

The strong-armed signal caller was the No. 1-ranked player in the portal and top-ranked quarterback in the class of 2021 recruiting cycle. He played his freshman season at Oklahoma under Riley, appearing in 11 games.

Will QB Sensation Caleb Williams Stay At Oklahoma, Follow Lincoln Riley To USC, Or Transfer?

He eventually unseated starter and early Heisman candidate Spencer Rattler during a comeback win over archrival Texas in the Red River Rivalry.

Williams passed for 1,916 yards, 21 touchdowns and just four interceptions. As a dual-threat, Williams also rushed for 442 yards and six touchdowns.

Williams chose the Trojans over other finalists UCLA and Wisconsin.

After the announcement, Williams talked to reporters about what made him choose USC.

“I wanted to go somewhere I thought would provide me the best development both on and off the field. Getting to know Coach Riley and gaining familiarity with his offense definitely played a part in my selection. As well as already knowing some of the guys on the team.”
“I want to get to work right away, earn the trust of my teammates, win championships, and help bring USC back to being a top-rated program.”

Riley’s QB Track Record Played A Part In Willams’ Decision

When you look at what Riley track record as a QB whisperer, there’s no one in the college game on par. Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray both won Heisman trophies in their first seasons with Riley.

Both went on to also become No. 1 overall picks in the 2018 and 2019 NFL drafts, respectively. Riley’s QB development skills then helped raise Jalen Hurts‘ draft profile in their one year together in 2019 after Hurts transferred from Alabama. Hurts finished second in the Heisman voting and was a second-round selection draft pick. All are starters for the respective NFL franchises.

Riley is the best at prepping QBs for the next level.

Caleb’s dad Carl based the entire decision on his son’s potential development into a pro QB, and he believes Riley is the man for the job.

“Professional development. We want Caleb to be ready when he becomes a pro. You go to college to get prepared for your career. His chosen career path is professional football. We want him to be prepared for when that time comes.”

USC Should Return To The Elite Of CFB Next Season

Adding a piece like Williams solidifies the one position of need for the Trojans. Loaded with talent everywhere, “The Men of Troy” should be able to migrate their way back into the CFP conversation. In the eight year history of the playoffs only two Pac-12 teams have qualified for it, Oregon (2014) and Washington (2016).

Wide receiver transfer Mario Williams, a former Sooner as well, had this to say via social media after Williams’ announcement.

“Now just watch this.”

The new transfer rules were established in 2018 and make things like this possible. The frenzy caused by the COVID pandemic loosened the rules even more. Players no longer need to ask their coach for permission to transfer. Now they need to request the compliance and enter their name.

In 24-48 hours, their name appears in the portal, making them a college free agent of sorts, free to talk to any team. They also no longer have to sit out a year-in-residence anymore and are able to play right away.

Basically, Williams was the first big free agent of the portal, one that is now constantly jumping.

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