Caleb Williams’ entry into the transfer portal wasn’t a huge shock, but it was still massive news in the college football world. An electric playmaker, Williams is easily the most impactful player in the portal.
Williams, who took the starting quarterback job from Spencer Rattler partway through the season, threw for 1,916 yards, 21 touchdowns and four interceptions as a freshman for Oklahoma in 2021. He completed 64.6% of his passes and added another 442 yards and six touchdowns on the ground.
Williams’ decision to enter the portal immediately had a ripple effect as Dillon Gabriel flipped his commitment from UCLA to Oklahoma and more waves are likely to follow quickly after Williams makes his final decision.
With that being said, where will Williams be playing quarterback in 2022? Here’s a look at some of his best options:
Although Williams has entered the portal, his statement mentioned that “staying at OU will definitely be an option.” The statement also mentioned that the only way Williams could talk to other schools was if he entered the portal, so putting his name out there certainly makes sense as he explores his options.
— Caleb Williams (@CALEBcsw) January 3, 2022
Of course, if Williams remains at Oklahoma, that’d be huge news for the Sooners, but how likely is that? Williams committed to Oklahoma because of Lincoln Riley’s history of working with quarterbacks and turning them into first-round draft picks.
Riley is obviously no longer at Oklahoma, but new offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby spent the past few seasons with Ole Miss, where he helped develop Matt Corral into one of the top quarterbacks in the country. Is that enough to keep Williams in Norman? We’ll see. If Williams does depart, Dillon Gabriel’s commitment leaves the Sooners in a good spot.
This one is obvious and rumors started popping up as soon as Lincoln Riley took the USC job. Riley helped develop a trio of current NFL starting quarterbacks — Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts — and obviously already has a relationship with Williams. That familiarity would ease the transition and Riley’s tutelage would certainly bode well for Williams’ NFL future.
USC also plays in a major media market and in the NIL era that’s another factor to be considered. Adding more smoke to this fire is the fact that USC quarterback Jaxson Dart has entered the transfer portal and Williams spent this past weekend in LA.
— Chris Treviño (@ChrisNTrevino) January 9, 2022
Clemson was among Williams’ finalists as he was coming out of high school and it’d make sense if the Tigers got another look this time around. Dabo Swinney has been reluctant to use the transfer portal in the past, but Williams is the type of talent you make an exception for and D.J. Uiagalelei struggled this past season.
The Tigers do have a new offensive coordinator in Brandon Streeter, though Streeter has been with the Tigers for several years. Not only did Streeter work with Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence, he also helped recruit Williams out of high school.
The Georgia roster is already loaded and Williams could be a massive difference maker. Stetson Bennett and JT Daniels could both return in 2022, but Williams is an elite talent who would start for the vast majority of teams in the country. Todd Monken, Georgia’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach also has experience coaching in the NFL which may be something Williams values.
Others to keep an eye on
UCLA: The Bruins seem like somewhat of an unlikely landing spot, but Williams was in LA this past weekend, where he easily could have visited both USC and UCLA and has also been rumored to be considering UCLA.
Oklahoma QB transfer Caleb Williams is at the Lakers game tonight as well, per his Instagram story. He’s taken in full day of Los Angeles sports. pic.twitter.com/kOuoIEUPpL
— Antonio Morales (@AntonioCMorales) January 10, 2022
Ole Miss: With Matt Corral headed to the NFL, the Rebels are in need of a quarterback. Playing for Ole Miss would give Williams the opportunity to challenge himself against SEC defenses and Lane Kiffin, in addition to Corral, has experience working with elite quarterbacks at both Alabama and USC
Maryland: Williams grew up in Washington, D.C., so this would be a homecoming of sorts and the Terrapins were one of his five finalists coming out of high school. More important than a feel-good story, the move also makes some football sense as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dan Enos served as the quarterbacks coach for Alabama in 2018 and helped develop Tua Tagovailoa into a top-five pick.