C.J. Williams was a massive recruiting get for the USC football program this past offseason. The four-star wide receiver was much-needed, because SC wasn't going to be taking in many high school players for the 2022 class due to more efficient roster-building in their situation being preferably through the transfer portal.
Williams was not only the No. 73 player in the country for the 2022 class (all recruiting ratings and rankings in article are as of 247Sports), but he was also the No. 10 receiver in the nation. The No. 6 player in California, USC has high expectations for how his career can go. That was always known, but it wasn't always know just how fast he could reach those expectations.
According to Ryan Kartje of the LA Times, however, Williams got some run with the first-team offense this week after missing spring camp due to injury. According to Kartje, Riley said Williams has been "very reliable" and has made some big-time plays in fall camp. Kartje reported that Riley said that Williams "is what we hoped and expected he would be."
If C.J. Williams "is what (Lincoln Riley) hoped and expected he would be" already, USC football is in for another good option out wide.
There are so many USC football wide receivers who were supposed to be ahead of C.J. Williams this year. If Williams is getting first-team reps AND impressing, it indicates that he's really developing at a nice pace so far in just one offseason. An offseason where he started off injured, by the way. Williams was projected to be what? Perhaps as low as the No. 10 receiver on the team this year?
If he's already flashing his talent in camp, he clearly is ahead of schedule. He was always expected to be a high-impact player, but not in his first year. If he's already able to make an impact in Year 1, that will be immeasurable for the present and future of this offense.
Kartje said that "Riley seemed sure Williams will compete to be a part of the WR rotation." That's exactly the type of development that SC fans were hoping for in fall camp. Now it's time to keep this up, and continue building confidence in order to succeed right away at this level.