Marriott Marquis–Caleb William has a story to tell from being a backup at Oklahoma in the Red Rivalry game against Texas now a Heisman Trophy winner.
Williams, who played last season at Oklahoma, is the fourth transfer to win the Heisman in the last six years, joining Baker Mayfield (2017) and Kyler Murray (2018) of Oklahoma and Joe Burrow (2019) of LSU.
Williams received 544 first-place votes. His 2,031 points easily beat out Max Duggan, who finished second. C.J Stroud was third, followed by Stetson Bennett.
“I may be standing up here today, but y’all get to go to the College Football Playoff,” Williams said in his acceptance speech, in saluting the other finalists in front of him. “Guess you can’t win them all.”
Before hoisting his big bronze trophy, Williams hugged Mike Garrett, USC’s first Heisman winner in 1965, Garrett was one of 23 previous winners — and three former Trojans along with Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer — to attend the ceremony near Lincoln Center.
Williams got choked up talking about coach Lincoln Riley, who he followed from Oklahoma to LA, and tried to keep his composure when thanking his parents.
He called his mother, Dayna, who paints his nails with a motivational message before each game, the most important woman in his life.
He thanked his father, Carl, for instilling a relentless work ethic.
“You’re always there for me making sacrifices in your life so I can achieve my dreams, which eventually became our dreams,” Caleb Williams said.
The USC quarterback passed for 4.075 yards, 37 touchdowns and just four interceptions, setting a USC record for total offense with 4.447 yards. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound sophomore also scurried for 10 touchdowns.
Thanks to one of his NIL deals, Williams was able to bring eight of USC offensive lineman with him to the Heisman ceremony in New York and thank them wholeheartedly.
USC went from 4-8 last season to 11-2 and a Cotton Bowl bid this year due to a large part Williams abilities to extend plays with his legs and arm angle.
“These individual awards aren’t why we do it, they are not why Caleb does it, but they’re evidence that there’s a lot of great things going on,” Riley said. “Because, let’s be honest, Heisman winners don’t show up on average teams.”
USC is definitely in good hands for the next few years with Williams at the helm.