The experts are predicting Williams to come play for us, and it would be the sure-fire best move for Williams. Now with the transfer portal going crazy in 2022, USC football needs to recruit kids in the portal as hard as they recruit high school and Junior College kids on the recruiting trail.
The pitch to Williams seems rather obvious, but USC can also use quite an extensive pitch that hits on why Williams needs to be a Trojan in MANY ways. The first part of that pitch is about as obvious as it gets.
Caleb Williams has his best chance at developing under new USC football Head Coach Lincoln Riley.
Caleb Williams has played exceptionally well for Riley at Oklahoma in his chance last year, and USC football needs to of course use that as the major selling point. Williams was one of the top Heisman candidates (and at times THE top Heisman candidate) under Riley for much of the 2021 year. That's even with him not even starting until the sixth game of the season.
Williams had said in the past that he'd walk-on for Coach Riley, so there's no reason USC shouldn't come down with the most prized transfer on the market. The way he played this year made it clear why he likes Riley so much. Averaging nine yards an attempt through the air and 5.6 yards per carry on the ground in 2021, he's the most exciting QB heading into the 2022 season regardless of where he chooses to play.
USC also needs to make it clear that no other school has a better track record when it comes to QBs than USC. Just in the 21st century, SC had back-to-back Heisman-winning QBs in Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. They then stringed together three more consecutive elite quarterbacks at the college level in John David Booty, Mark Sanchez, and Matt Barkley.
After that, they had another very good QB in Cody Kessler take over, and followed that up with an elite guy in Sam Darnold. After Darnold, things have been a bit complicated, but JT Daniels (the starter in 2018) didn't have much of a chance in what was a joke of an offensive scheme under Tee Martin and Clay Helton.
He proved in 2020 that he's a good QB, so it's not like SC ruined him. Also, USC will not be running a clown show anymore with Riley at the helm instead of guys like Martin and Helton.
We saw how great Kedon Slovis looked in his first two years of an offense that proved to not even be schemed very well. It goes to show that all we need to receive top-tier QB play is someone competent running the show at USC, and Riley is much more than competent. This brief QB history lesson is important because Williams' father made it clear that developing Caleb for the NFL is what's most important here:
Therefore, USC is in the perfect position to pry Williams from Oklahoma. As I pointed out, USC had a number one overall pick in the 21st century (Palmer), followed that up with a top ten pick in Leinart, then had their next QB in Booty drafted, saw a top five QB pick in Sanchez drafted next, and then had their next two quarterbacks in Barkley (fourth round) and Kessler (third round) selected. Then, they returned to having their QB picked very early again with Darnold going third overall.
Each of USC's last seven starting QBs (before Slovis and Daniels who haven't come out yet) have been drafted, and four have gone in the top ten. USC needs to make it clear that if Williams wants to go to the NFL, picking USC is a true no-brainer. Heck, even Leinart's backup (Matt Cassel) was drafted to the league and was not only a Pro Bowler in 2010 but also led his team to the playoffs.
The only school that rivals SC as an NFL QB factory is Oklahoma, but they hadn't done so until Riley got there. The three QBs who went in the first two rounds from Oklahoma since 2018 were all Riley's quarterbacks. Therefore, even if Williams falsely believes that OU is the better quarterback program than SC, USC can easily point out that it was only the case because of the head coach that just left the Sooners to coach SC.
Williams would also get the chance to play at a school that is known just as much for their receivers, and that's always great news for a QB. Even this past year (which was one of the worst in SC history), USC had the best receiver in the country who was the runaway favorite for the Biletnikoff Award before he went down in the eighth game of the season. That was of course Drake London, who put up an insane 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns on 88 catches in not even eight full games.
Drake won Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year despite his injury, which speaks to how good he was. Of course, London won't be here next year, but it goes to show that even in USC's darkest days, when they had absolutely no offensive prowess or rhythm, they still developed the best receiver in the country. USC needs to make it clear to Williams that they will, and have the track record to prove to him, that they can develop the type of receivers that Williams needs to succeed.
There are other intriguing options for Williams. Having the coach who runs the best offense in the country, however, gives us a great chance. He'll be the perfect salesman for Williams to head out west and play with the coach who knows his game best.