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Oklahoma Quarterback Caleb Williams Transferring to USC

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Former Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams (13). | Image by Brian Bahr / Getty Images

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Oklahoma star quarterback Caleb Williams announced Tuesday that he is transferring to USC.

ESPN was first to break the news, followed by a confirmation from Williams on Twitter.

Williams will be reuniting with first-year USC head coach Lincoln Riley, who left Oklahoma for USC near the end of November 2021. 

Riley recruited Williams to Oklahoma, where he had a freshman breakout season in 2021. 

Williams finished his first year in college with 1,912 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, and four interceptions after he took over the starting spot from Spencer Rattler for the final seven games of the season. His performances earned him a spot on ESPN’s freshman All-American team

In what turned out to be his final game with the Sooners, Williams shined by throwing for three touchdowns and 242 yards on 21 of 27 passing in a resounding 47-32 victory over Oregon in the Alamo Bowl. 

On January 3, less than a week after the Alamo Bowl, Williams entered his name into the transfer portal. He immediately became one of the most celebrated transfer players in modern college football history. Williams was rated as a five-star recruit and the No.7 overall prospect by 247Sports coming out of high school. As a freshman, he showed he was more than worthy of that ranking. 

Returning to Oklahoma remained a possibility for Williams, while Georgia, UCLA, and Wisconsin also were rumored destinations. Ultimately, reuniting with Coach Riley was a significant factor in his choice to become a USC Trojan. 

“I wanted to go somewhere I thought would provide me with the best development both on and off the field,” Williams told ESPN. “Getting to know Coach Riley and gaining familiarity with his offense definitely played a part in my selection, as well as already knowing some the guys on the team.”

USC also managed to poach wide receiver Mario Williams from Oklahoma, who announced his transfer in mid-January. The receiver, Williams, was also named a freshman All-American by ESPN. 

Riley is known for his high-flying offenses that produce plenty of opportunities for quarterbacks to put up impressive statistics. Over his career, Riley has been known as a quarterback guru. He coached current NFL starting quarterbacks Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, and Jalen Hurts all at Oklahoma. Subsequently, Williams is one of the favorites for the Heisman Trophy next year.

USC went 4-8 last season and fired their head coach Clay Helton after just two games. Riley getting his star quarterback to follow him to Los Angeles is a significant coup for the program hoping to restore its past glory. 

“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,” Williams said.

As for Oklahoma, they will now have to decide on a new starting quarterback. They will likely choose between Dillon Gabriel, who transferred from Central Florida in January, or Nick Evers, an incoming four-star freshman out of Flower Mound, TX. 

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