To the shock of only a few school soccer followers, Caleb Williams lifted the Heisman Trophy on Saturday evening. The USC quarterback completed with 4,075 yards, 47 whole touchdowns, and simply 4 interceptions, all whereas main his workforce to inside a win of the School Soccer Playoff. Of all of the quarterbacks Lincoln Riley has coached, Williams is probably the most full prospect.
He’s taller than Kyler Murray, possesses a stronger arm than Baker Mayfield, and is already a greater passer than Jalen Hurts. No matter you name a soccer model of fitness center rat, that’s Williams. There have been just a few events throughout his freshman season at Oklahoma when he struggled, and any questions on whether or not the Kansas or Iowa State video games have been indications or aberrations have been answered in the way in which the QB dealt with unhealthy video games throughout his sophomore season at Southern Cal.
His two worst outings of the 2022 season have been wins over Washington State and Oregon State. Mistake-free soccer and an opportunistic protection keyed a worry-free victory over the Cougars, and when the Trojans wanted Williams probably the most in Corvallis, he delivered a clutch drive that ended with a gorgeous ball to Jordan Addison for the game-winning rating.
The USC protection made loads of performs after they needed to, getting massive takeaways all through the season, but it surely was the offense that continually responded to stress. One of many hardest issues to do at any stage of soccer is repeatedly win with the offense carrying the protection. Tennessee had an explosive group, and nonetheless bought shut down by Georgia and couldn’t sustain with South Carolina. Even when Hendon Hooker avoids damage, the Gamecocks win that recreation going away.
The one time USC bought beat handedly was when Williams popped his hamstring and operated on one leg for almost all of the evening. Even severely hampered, he nonetheless had the Trojans inside three within the fourth quarter of that recreation and threw for 350-plus with three scores to at least one decide.
Southern Cal now has probably the most Heisman winners within the historical past of school soccer at eight (as a result of I embody Reggie Bush), and Williams was as dynamic as any of these previous greats. He had 4 video games with 4 or 5 TDs and no picks, and each one in all them was in opposition to a Pac-12 workforce. He had 500 yards of offense by himself in opposition to UCLA within the Rose Bowl. He was as good as any soccer participant might be in opposition to Notre Dame, struck the Heisman pose, and nobody stated shit as a result of all of us agreed.
Congrats, effectively deserved.
The clock is formally ticking on Lincoln Riley to the NFL
If Williams’ second season is what it appears to be like like when Riley can mildew a great prospect — bodily and psychological expertise all accounted for — the Trojans higher hope will get a title out of their new rent earlier than the coach joins Williams in a leap to the NFL after subsequent season.
The Heisman whisperer has now coached three completely different winners in his first six years as a head coach. Solely Nick Saban and Notre Dame’s Frank Leahy have produced extra recipients of school soccer’s most prestigious honor. Though Alabama had three Heisman winners in six seasons, too, solely one in all them was a quarterback.
Two of Riley’s three sign callers have been chosen No. 1 total, and the opposite is Hurts. You’ll be able to put Spencer Rattler on Riley if you need, however he nonetheless received 9 video games in Rattler’s first yr as a starter, and was fast to pivot when Williams was clearly the man.
Say what you’ll of Murray and Mayfield’s shortcomings, they entered the league as ready as any prospect. Each topped 3,700 yards of their rookie seasons, and threw for 20 or extra touchdowns. It regarded like Hurts was on his method to the XFL earlier than transferring to OU and lighting up school soccer throughout his senior yr.
The magic that Riley works together with his quarterbacks is the Holy Grail for any variety of NFL groups who’ve spent a daunting sum of money and draft capital on QBs and coaches who might get one of the best out of them solely, to finish up again the place they began in three to 5 years. Have a look at Mike McDaniel in Miami. If entrance workplaces knew that he might take Tua Tagovailoa from borderline bust to league-leading passer, they’d have been courting him like Sean Payton.
Increasingly organizations are prepared to take an opportunity on a school coach. Kliff Kiingsbury is about to observe Matt Rhule out of a job, and the very fact somebody on their method to being a coordinator at USC, or the top coach of Baylor, might be entrusted with an NFL workforce tells me a GM will stake their job — and a fuck ton of the proprietor’s cash — on Riley being a home-run rent.
Say Deshaun Watson can’t regain his earlier kind underneath the steerage of Kevin Stefanski, why not let God’s reward to quarterbacks take a shot at reviving a five-tool prospect? That’s the sort of shrewd pondering the Browns wanted earlier than they gave their soul to Devil — and gave him $230 million.
Off matter, off matter. Let’s carry it full circle. Pretty much as good of a professional prospect as Caleb Williams is — and he’s little doubt going to be the primary total decide in 2024 barring damage— Lincoln Riley will probably be an excellent greater prize. No place in sports activities issues greater than the quarterback, and if each QB you contact will get forged into bronze, you’re value an entire lot of gold.