Updated: Jan 4
On Monday, it was announced that USC Trojan star quarterback Caleb Williams was named the Heisman Trophy winner in a landslide receiving 544 first-place votes and 2,031 in total, with the next closest candidate being TCU quarterback Max Duggan receiving 188 first-places votes and 1,429 altogether.
William's story is one of dedication and persistence, being a former five-star recruit who was a former backup at Oklahoma just fourteen months ago. Now given an opportunity as a starter for the Trojans he went on to have a historic season. In his first full season as a starter, Williams was a revelation, throwing for 4,075 yards and 37 touchdowns while completing 66.1% of his passes and just four interceptions. He also is very capable as a dual-threat as well, rushing for 372 yards and 10 touchdowns, showing he’s able to use his legs to create plays for himself.
The reigning Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year dazzled crowds and the nation with his Patrick Mahomes-Esque no-look passes while also displaying the ability to scramble out the pocket and avoid defenders ala Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts.
Williams flaunted his competitive nature at the Heisman trophy ceremony upon receiving the award by stating: "I may be standing up here today, but y'all get to go to the College Football Playoff,” Williams said, saluting the others in front of him.
Williams impacts winning. He helped turn around a 4-8 Trojans program from the season prior to an 11-win team in just one year, finishing atop the Pac-12 in the process. Williams 37 touchdowns led the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) while also leading in touchdowns responsible for (47).
Williams' impact doesn’t end there though, as he ranked fifth in passing efficiency, first in points per game, and sixth in total offense. He amazed us with many spectacular plays throughout the season, but the moment that probably sealed the Heisman Trophy for him was when he rushed for 52-yards against Utah in the Pac-12 title game where they ultimately came up short, but showed that he wasn’t afraid of the big moment.
Utah Coach, Kyle Whittingham, the only coach to come up victorious against Williams, spoke glowingly about the Heisman winner prior to the Championship game:
“Show me a game where he’s not great. I think he just keeps getting better and better. He’s maybe the most difficult quarterback to sack we’ve ever come across that is also a great throwing threat. We’ve played some really athletic quarterbacks that you might liken to a wide receiver playing QB, but nobody harder to sack than that guy. He keeps plays alive, he extends plays, he keeps his eyes downfield incredibly well during the scrambles.
He very rarely glances at the rush, he’s always seeing peripherally and it seems like he has eyes in the back of his head. Some of the escapes he has are just fantastic. And he’s only 20 years old, second year out of high school — a true sophomore. What he’s doing is very impressive.”
His ability is not the only reason why NFL scouts and evaluators are so high on him and what he could potentially become at the next level, it’s also his toughness. After hurting his hamstring in the title game against Utah, he continued playing to give his team a fighting chance despite not being 100% which shows his pain tolerance and will to win.
Williams is projected to be a top-two pick in the 2024 NFL Draft according to Walter Football. His unselfishness, grit, and confounding play on the field, while also being a great teammate and person off the field is what makes him the perfect Heisman recipient.
Williams is expected to play in the Bowl Game against Tulane on Jan.2 despite trying to rehab a bad hamstring, but one thing he made clear this season is that he’s a force to be reckoned with who can be a potential NFL franchise changer and will only get better with time.