Dec 10, 2022; New York, NY, USA; Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams speaks to the media during a press conference in the Astor Ballroom at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York, NY, before the 2022 Heisman Trophy award ceremony. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

USC QB Caleb Williams wins 2022 Heisman Trophy

Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams was named the 2022 winner of the Heisman Trophy in New York Saturday night.

The 88th winner in the award’s history earning 544 first-place votes, Williams threw for 4,075 yards with 37 touchdowns for the 11-2 Trojans. He also rushed for 372 yards and 10 touchdowns, throwing just four interceptions as the Trojans went 8-1 in the Pac-12.

Williams and USC will face Tulane in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2.

“This is really awesome to be up here,” Williams said. “To now be a part of this historic fraternity is truly an honor and something I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

The four finalists, all named Monday, were all quarterbacks: Georgia’s Stetson Bennett, TCU’s Max Duggan, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Williams.

Williams entered the evening as the runaway favorite for the award, despite being the only finalist to miss the College Football Playoff.

“Guess you can’t win them all,” Williams quipped.

Still, all four finalists led their respective teams to a current top-10 ranking, with Williams emerging as a frontrunner due to his propensity for electric plays.

In his acceptance speech, Williams made a point to thank each of his individual offensive linemen, who were all in attendance at the ceremony.

“It is important to surround yourself with a good team, and good people you can trust,” he said, as he also thanked family and former coaches and teammates.

Williams had 2,031 total points in winning the award. Finishing second in the voting was Duggan, who nabbed 1,420 points.

Duggan, who began the year as a backup, helped lead No. 3 TCU to a perfect regular-season record and a berth in the CFP, throwing for 3,321 yards with 30 touchdowns against four interceptions. He also memorably led the Horned Frogs back against Kansas State fighting through exhaustion in an eventual overtime loss in the Big 12 championship game.

Stroud, who finished third with 539 points, entered the season as the favorite for the award. He helped the No. 4 Buckeyes make the Playoff by throwing for 3,340 yards with 37 touchdowns against just six picks.

Finishing fourth was Bennett (349 points), who leads the top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (13-0, 8-0 Southeastern Conference). He’ll look to grab a second straight national title after throwing for 3,425 yards and 20 TDs.

Ohio State (11-1, 8-1 Big Ten) will face Georgia in the Peach Bowl Dec. 31 to determine who secures a spot in the CFP title game.

TCU (12-1, 9-0 Big 12) will face No. 2 Michigan on Dec. 31 in the other CFP semifinal.

The rest of the top ten vote-getters included Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, Michigan running back Blake Corum, Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., Texas running back Bijan Robinson and North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye.

–Field Level Media

Dec 2, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) carries the ball on a 59-yard run against the Utah Utes in the first half of the Pac-12 Championship at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Southern Cal QB Caleb Williams named Player of Year

Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams was named the Associated Press Player of the Year on Thursday.

He received 32 of 46 first-place votes (117 points) to easily beat out TCU quarterback Max Duggan, who earned six first-place votes and finished with 64 points. Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud, Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker and Georgia QB Stetson Bennett rounded out the top five.

Williams, Duggan, Stroud and Bennett are also the Heisman Trophy finalists.

A sophomore, Williams becomes the first USC player since 2005 to win the award. Reggie Bush earned it in 2005, one year after Trojans QB Matt Leinart took home the award.

Williams led USC to an 11-2 record and a trip to the Cotton Bowl to face Tulane.

He completed 66.1 percent of his passes, throwing for 4,075 yards and an FBS-best 37 touchdowns. He rushed for another 372 yards and 10 TDs, setting the school record for total TDs and total yards from scrimmage.

–Field Level Media

Dec 2, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) throws against the Utah Utes during the second half in the PAC-12 Football Championship at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

C.J. Stroud, Caleb Williams among four QBs named Heisman finalists

Georgia’s Stetson Bennett, TCU’s Max Duggan, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Southern California’s Caleb Williams were named finalists for the Heisman Trophy on Monday.

The winner will be announced Saturday in New York.

All four quarterbacks led their respective teams to a top-10 ranking this season, and Bennett, Duggan and Stroud will be playing in the College Football Playoff.

Williams, the only finalist to miss the CFP, is the favorite to take home the award after throwing for 4,075 yards with 37 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also rushed for 372 yards and 10 TDs as the No. 10 Trojans went 11-2 (8-1 Pac-12). USC will face Tulane in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2.

The top-ranked Bulldogs (13-0, 8-0 Southeastern Conference) will look to claim back-to-back national championships behind Bennett, who threw for 3,425 yards, 20 TDs and six interceptions.

After entering the season as the favorite to win the Heisman, Stroud finished with 3,340 passing yards with 37 touchdowns against six interceptions. The No. 4 Buckeyes (11-1, 8-1 Big Ten) will face Georgia in the Peach Bowl Dec. 31 to determine who secures a spot in the CFP title game.

Duggan helped No. 3 TCU exceed expectations, as the Horned Frogs went 12-1 with a perfect 9-0 record in Big 12 play before losing in the Big 12 championship game. Duggan threw for 3,321 yards, 30 TDs and four interceptions. He also found the end zone six times on the ground.

The Frogs face No. 2 Michigan on Dec. 31 in the other CFP semifinal.

Notable players who weren’t invited to New York included Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, who was gunning for his second straight Heisman, and Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker, who led the Volunteers to a brief stay at No. 1 in the CFP rankings but saw his dynamic season cut short in November when he tore his ACL.

–Field Level Media

Dec 2, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) carries the ball against the Utah Utes in the second half of the Pac-12 Championship at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC QB Caleb Williams (hamstring) could miss Cotton Bowl

USC quarterback Caleb Williams could miss the Cotton Bowl Classic on Jan. 2 due to a hamstring injury.

Williams was hurt in the Pac-12 championship game when his hamstring “popped” during a 59-yard run in the loss to Utah, head coach Lincoln Riley said Sunday night of the Heisman Trophy hopeful quarterback.

“Those things, hamstrings are different for everybody, but the nature of this is pretty severe,” Riley said. “We’ll rehab him hard and hope to have him available.”

If the Trojans had been scheduled to play either of the next two Saturdays, it would have been without Williams, Riley said.

“He’s a warrior,” Riley said. “He fought through it the other night when a lot of guys wouldn’t.”

But USC has nearly two full weeks before on-field preparations kick into gear for Tulane and the Cotton Bowl. For now, freshman Miller Moss is pegged as the first-team quarterback. Moss has played in three games this season, completing 12 of 14 pass attempts for 159 yards and one touchdown.

Williams tied for first in the FBS with 37 touchdown passes in his first season with Riley and the Trojans. He was fourth in passing yards with 4,075 and threw only four interceptions.

The sophomore followed Riley to Los Angeles from Oklahoma.

–Field Level Media

Dec 2, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) throws against the Utah Utes during the second half in the PAC-12 Football Championship at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

USC QB Caleb Williams plays on after ‘popping’ hamstring

Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams, a heavy favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, played the last three quarters of the Pac-12 championship game against Utah on Friday despite sustaining a hamstring injury in the first quarter.

Williams got hurt on a 59-yard run late in the first quarter on a drive that gave USC a 14-3 lead in Las Vegas. The advantage grew to 17-3 in the second quarter but the Utes (10-3) turned it around and wound up winning 47-24, knocking the fourth-ranked Trojans (11-2) out of contention for the College Football Playoff.

Despite the ailment, Williams played on. He completed 28 of 41 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

“He popped his hamstring on the long run,” USC coach Lincoln Riley said. “I definitely thought about taking him. He … didn’t let me. He wouldn’t even let me take him out at the end.

“In terms of guys I’ve coached at that position, it was maybe the gutsiest performance I’ve ever seen. Most guys wouldn’t have even played. And he still gave us a chance.”

Williams said of his perseverance, “A person that I admire is Kobe (Bryant), and he always said, ‘The game is bigger than what you’re feeling.’ So I was in my head, and encouraging myself that the game was bigger than what I was feeling.

“I also had a group of guys that (were) looking at me to go out there and lead them to victory. That didn’t end up happening, but that’s what was going on.”

Williams, a sophomore who played last season at Oklahoma, entered play Friday ranked seventh in the nation in passing yards (3,712) and tied for sixth in passing touchdowns (34). He threw his fourth interception of the season in the fourth quarter.

The latest Heisman odds had him at -2800 at Caesars Sportsbook, -2500 at BetMGM, -1700 at FanDuel and -1600 at DraftKings. Most sites have TCU quarterback Max Duggan as a distant second on the board, at rates ranging from +1500 to +2000.

–Field Level Media

Oklahoma State fans hold up newspapers with a picture of former OU football coach Lincoln Riley during Oklahoma's introduction before a Bedlam basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022.

Bedlam Basketball

Lincoln Riley asserts he didn’t poach Oklahoma players

New Southern California coach Lincoln Riley said Tuesday that he didn’t bring any players from Oklahoma with him to Los Angeles — he got them from the transfer portal.

Riley made the comments during an interview on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.”

Cowherd asked Riley if it was sensitive bringing OU transfers Caleb Williams, wide receiver Mario Williams and cornerback Latrell McCutchin to the Trojans.

Riley agreed that it was, but that he didn’t.

“We didn’t take players from Oklahoma. We took players from the transfer portal,” Riley told Cowherd. “Those players and their families had to make a decision to either stay at that university, just like any other player has to make, or to enter the portal where then they can be recruited by anybody in the country. That’s up to those players and their families and we have nothing to do with that.

“But once a player gets into a portal where they are open to any school in the country, we would be crazy not to take a look at and try to help our football team,” Riley went on. “All of a sudden they were good enough for us to take at Oklahoma, but now we wouldn’t give them a chance just because we’re in a new spot? That part never really made sense to me.”

Caleb Williams took over the starting job six games into the 2021 season under Riley at OU and finished the season with 1,912 passing yards and 21 touchdowns against four interceptions. Williams rushed for another 442 yards, scoring six touchdowns.

When he first entered the portal, Williams’ father, Carl Williams, said the quarterback “doesn’t have a destination” picked out.

Mario Williams, who is unrelated to Caleb, caught 35 passes for 380 yards and four TDs as a freshman in 2021.

–Field Level Media

OU coach Lincoln Riley and quarterback Caleb Williams (13).

QB Caleb Williams following Lincoln Riley to USC

Former Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams announced Tuesday he will follow former Sooners coach Lincoln Riley and transfer to Southern California.

Williams, who entered the transfer portal on Jan. 3, posted a Trojans hype video on Twitter with the hashtag #FightOn. It featured himself wearing a USC uniform.

Williams confirmed his career move in an interview with ESPN.

“I wanted to go somewhere I thought would provide me with the best development both on and off the field,” he 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.”

As an Oklahoma freshman in 2021, Williams threw for 1,912 yards with 21 touchdowns against four interceptions after replacing Spencer Rattler six games into the season. Williams rushed for another 442 yards and scored six TDs as the Sooners finished 11-2.

Williams also considered UCLA, Georgia and Wisconsin and had not ruled out staying at Oklahoma.

Williams told ESPN he filed all the paperwork with USC last week and starts classes on Tuesday. He expects to join team workouts soon.

“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.

Riley has added 13 transfers from the portal since taking over the Trojans in November.

After announcing his transfer, Williams’ odds for winning the 2022 Heisman Trophy climbed from +1300 to +800 at PointsBet.com, while USC’s national championship odds went from +5000 to +3000.

–Field Level Media

Dec 29, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Caleb Williams (13) throws a pass during the first half of the 2021 Alamo Bowl against the Oregon Ducks at the Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma QB Caleb Williams enters transfer portal

Oklahoma phenom freshman quarterback Caleb Williams announced his intention to enter the transfer portal Monday but allowed for a possible return to Norman.

Williams threw for 1,912 yards with 21 touchdowns against four interceptions since taking over for Spencer Rattler six games into the 2021 season. Williams rushed for another 442 yards, scoring six touchdowns.

But Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley left for Southern California, while Brent Venables was hired to replace him. Former OU coach Bob Stoops coached the Sooners in their bowl game victory over Oregon.

“I came to Oklahoma with a game plan, but with all of the recent changes, I need to figure out what is the right path for me moving forward,” Williams posted, in part, to Twitter. “… The only way I can speak with other schools and see who may offer the best preparation and development for my career is by entering the portal. Staying at OU will definitely be an option as I begin this process.”

Williams is coming off a three-touchdown performance in Oklahoma’s 47-32 win over the Ducks in the Alamo Bowl. The Sooners finished 11-2.

Venables and OU athletic director Joe Castiglione released a joint statement Monday regarding Williams’ announcement.

“While we believe OU provides Caleb the best opportunity to develop as a player and realize his goals for college and beyond, we respect his right to explore his options following key staffing changes here,” the statement read, in part.

Carl Williams, Caleb’s father, told Yahoo Sports that Caleb Williams “doesn’t have a destination” picked out and that his path to becoming an NFL quarterback is the most important factor.

Rattler transferred to South Carolina last month.

–Field Level Media

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley talks with Oklahoma's Spencer Rattler (7) before a two point-conversion attempt during the Red River Showdown college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Texas (UT) Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021.  Oklahoma won 55-48.

Ou Vs Texas

Rattled: Oklahoma cancels media time amid QB drama

Oklahoma football won’t be holding its scheduled media availability on Wednesday, and reporters won’t be hearing from coach Lincoln Riley until after the fourth-ranked Sooners’ game Saturday against TCU.

That way, he won’t have to answer questions about the quarterback situation, described in detail Tuesday in a report by Oklahoma’s student newspaper. Riley hasn’t named a starter for the upcoming game.

The OU Daily reported that it was freshman Caleb Williams and not preseason Heisman Trophy favorite Spencer Rattler who took the bulk of the snaps with the first team at Tuesday’s practice. It was Williams who rallied the Sooners to a last-minute 55-48 win over rival Texas on Saturday after Riley benched Rattler.

A student reporter went to great lengths — and likely heights — to get the QB information. In fact, he watched practice from a “public building near the OU football practice field, with no athletics employees discouraging observation,” and saw Williams take 15 snaps to seven for Rattler in the “pre-stretching portion of practice.”

The reporter later observed Williams working with starting receivers Jadon Haselwood, Marvin Mims and Mike Woods, as Rattler threw to a group of backups.

And now, questions are arising about the future of Rattler in Norman, where he was asked to follow Heisman Trophy winners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray and runner-up Jalen Hurts.

It hasn’t been an easy season for Rattler, who has completed 130 of his 175 pass attempts for 1,371 yards in six games. He has 10 touchdown passes and five interceptions.

His worst game of 2021 came Saturday on the biggest stage — the Red River Showdown with the Longhorns. He completed just 8 of 15 passes for 111 yards and an interception and had minus-9 yards rushing with a fumble before giving way to Williams.

Mike Rattler, the quarterback’s father, confirmed reports Spencer missed practice on Monday, saying he was ill and that Riley gave his OK. Mike Rattler opened up to the school paper on the family’s thoughts about Spencer’s Oklahoma future.

“For right now, he’s focused on working for this team, and we’ll see what happens after Jan. 10,” Mike Rattler told the OU Daily. “Hopefully he’ll be playing in the national championship on Jan. 10, and then after that we’ll evaluate where he is as far as if any teams are interested in him in the NFL, we’ll consider that.

“If we think, ‘Hey, you know what, we may ought to do another year or something at Oklahoma, wherever’… we’re leaving our options open whereas that is concerned, but for the most part, right now, we don’t even talk about it, because he’s got a task at hand to deal with.”

Rattler, from Phoenix, was the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the Class of 2019. He backed up Hurts in his first season, then took the reins in 2020. In 11 games, he completed 214 passes for 3,031 yards with 28 touchdown passes against seven interceptions. He added six rushing scores.

Williams came to Oklahoma as the No. 2 quarterback prospect and No. 7 player overall in the Class of 2021, as ranked by the 247Sports composite.

Against Texas, Williams was 15-of-24 passing for 211 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 88 yards and a touchdown as the Sooners (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) remained unbeaten.

–Field Level Media