USC football just named four captains for the 2022 season. Those captains are Caleb Williams, Tuli Tuipulotu, Justin Dedich, and Shane Lee. Two on offense (Williams and Dedich), and two on defense (Tuipulotu and Lee). All four selections make perfect sense.
Williams is the most highly anticipated transfer ever--literally. His 87 total QBR last year makes for the highest a player has ever had while going on to play somewhere else the next year. How can he not now be a captain?
After racking up 9.1 yards per pass attempt and 5.6 yards per rush attempt as just a true freshman, he's already proven to be an elite player at the most important position on the football field. Scoring 27 total touchdowns despite not even starting until the second half of the season (only four interceptions), there's nobody that his SC teammates could trust more heading into the year.
It's especially welcoming because it raised many eyebrows last year when USC didn't have a QB named as a captain last year. Whether that was truly a big deal or not, it was something that was questioned ahead of the season. Now, USC and the college football world knows for a fact that they have the upmost leadership at the position.
Williams is not the only standout captain on this USC football squad, though.
USC football has another sure-fire, high-impact captain other than Williams in Tuipulotu. Tuipulotu has wildly over-performed his three-star status coming out of high school (all recruiting ratings and rankings in article are as of 247Sports). In his two seasons with SC, he has recorded 36 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and 7.5 sacks despite his first season being a shortened year (six game schedule) due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year in particular, he added a couple of PD's, a couple of forced fumbles, and a scoop and score. He's the best player on this defense, and the most proven player on this defense by a landslide. Of course he's going to be a captain. He's answered every call and question he has been able to this far into his career.
As for Dedich, he's not just a good player, but a grizzled vet. Dedich has been here since 2018, and has proven that he's willing to make sacrifices for the good of the team. After being the No. 2 Center recruit in all of football for the 2018 class, Dedich selflessly has been willing to move to guard whenever needed.
He's still of course played some center at USC in his career, but he's been more of a guard as of late, and has been very good at it too. He was the third highest-graded guard in the conference last year. Also, he's one of the hardest workers on the team.
Nobody can match his work ethic in the weight room, and he even pulls semi trucks with his own human body when he's not in the weight room. The 305 lb monster doesn't believe in days off.
And Lee is going to be one of the biggest X-Factors on this squad. He was a Freshman All-American in 2019, collecting 86 tackles and two forced fumbles to go along with an interception, a fumble recovery, and 4.5 sacks. Since, however, he's only recorded nine tackles, 1.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. He got injured in 2020, and then got buried on a LOADED Alabama depth chart ever since.
He's plenty talented, as he was the No. 5 ILB in all of America for the 2019 class. He just hasn't had the chance to show it on the field in these last two years. Now with USC, he's clearly made that presence very felt as a captain selection. One of the two players Lincoln Riley picked to go to Pac-12 Media Day, his captain selection was essentially expected.
SC looks a lot different this year. It picked up a new head coach, an almost entirely new coaching staff, and 20(!) transfers. That's why it's no surprise that half of the captains are new to the team. It's all for the best, though, as this squad is likely to AT LEAST double their win total from last season.