USC junior and Heisman trophy recipient Caleb Williams has stirred up discussions by revealing that he isn’t a certain candidate for the 2024 NFL Draft. Speaking to ESPN’s Pete Thamel, he disclosed that his decision would only come after the current season. This revelation from USC football has added another layer of intrigue to a week filled with various headlines. Numerous analysts, experts, commentators, and enthusiasts had universally pegged Williams as a sure pick for the 2024 NFL Draft. He has amassed admiration from both college and NFL circles, with some even comparing his gameplay to that of Chiefs’ superstar Patrick Mahomes.
Such lofty comparisons only serve to intensify the spotlight on Williams in the upcoming year. While many believed Williams could have entered the NFL Draft in 2023 and potentially clinched the top spot, the news of him contemplating another year at college comes as an unexpected twist.
“That’s for sure now going to be an in-the-moment decision at the end of the year,”
“It’s my third year, and the dream and goal was to go three-and-out. Being around these guys and in college and enjoying it, we’ll have to see at the end of this year.”
The implications of Williams’ potential decision to stay for his senior year have sparked speculation. One immediate impact would be the Trojans becoming strong contenders for the college football playoffs – a scenario that might hold true even if he departs. With Williams as the quarterback, USC would enter the Big 10 conference with an undeniable edge, considering the Big 10 is widely regarded as one of the most competitive conferences. Additionally, Williams could cement his legacy at USC, further establishing the Trojans as a Quarterback University (QBU) and aiming for another Heisman trophy.
Although these considerations primarily benefit the university and the football program, Williams himself stands at a crossroads. Opting for the NFL would likely make him the consensus number-one draft pick in 2024, securing a promising contract and a chance to compete in the pinnacle league of American football. Despite potentially joining a struggling team, his potential to elevate the team’s performance is unquestionable.
Should Williams choose the NFL path, USC will pivot to groom another quarterback. This shift doesn’t necessarily spell doom for the Trojans; Coach Riley has options, including tapping into the transfer portal or developing existing talents like Malachi Nelson, Miller Moss, or Jake Jensen into premier college quarterbacks.
However, indications suggest that Williams won’t extend his stay at USC for another senior year. The allure of the NFL seems like the logical step, and his departure wouldn’t raise eyebrows. Conversely, the Trojan faithful wouldn’t complain if he decided to continue donning the USC colors for another year.
At 21 years old, Williams has ample time to make his choice. For now, his focus remains squarely on the 2023 season. The larger decision will naturally fall into place when the time is right.