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Former Okla. Sooners QB Caleb Williams transferring to USC, reuniting with Lincoln Riley

by Deon Osborne, Associate Editor
caleb williams lincoln riley
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Star quarterback Caleb Williams made the announcement in an IG post on Tuesday, ending months-long questions over his future.

During his breakthrough true freshman year in 2021 with the Sooners, Williams played under Coach Lincoln Riley. Riley’s sudden, controversial departure from OU in November means he’ll once again be coaching Williams.

“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,” Williams added.

Williams chooses Trojans

A top recruit out of high school, Caleb Williams originally turned down USC for OU. He played in 11 games for Oklahoma last year, racking up 1,916 passing yards and 27 total touchdowns.

With his decision to choose the Trojans, Williams turned down UCLA, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.

caleb williams lincoln riley

NORMAN, OK – NOVEMBER 20: Quarterback Caleb Williams #13 of the Oklahoma Sooners balances the ball before a game against the Iowa State Cyclones at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on November 20, 2021 in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners won 28-21. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, new rules around NIL (name, image, likeness) will see athletes like Williams finally reap some of the millions of dollars that schools earn from their sports programs.

Since July 1, NCAA athletes have been able to profit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL), thanks to extensive legal battles that went as high up as the Supreme Court. According to the NCAA’s website, “the total athletics revenue reported among all NCAA athletics departments in 2019 was $18.9 billion.”

For his part, Williams appears laser-focused on contributing to the team under Coach Lincoln Riley.

“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.

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