USC star quarterback Caleb Williams is fresh off a spectacular Heisman-winning season. He’s arguably the biggest name in all of college football and is expected to be the #1 overall pick in next year’s NFL Draft.
He recently expressed his unwavering determination to lead the Trojans to the College Football Playoff (and beyond) this season. Williams made his ambitions clear during an interview with ESPN at Pac-12 Media Day.
The ultra-talented quarterback has yet to taste the College Football Playoff, a fact that deeply bothers him. Williams stated: “It’s been tough. It bothers me because I play for championships. I don’t play for anything else. So not being able to have the chance and being so close frustrates me. This year it’s going to be a good one.”
The Trojans came close to reaching the playoffs in 2022. They finished the regular season with an impressive 11-1 record. They held their destiny in their hands, needing just one more victory against Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game to secure a playoff spot. However, a loss to Utah dashed their hopes and eliminated them from contention.
Despite the team’s setback, Williams had an exceptional individual season, amassing 4,919 all-purpose yards and 52 touchdowns, which earned him the prestigious Heisman Trophy.
Nevertheless, personal accolades are not the driving force behind Williams’ ambitions. He admitted that he often replays last year’s mistakes in his mind, saying, “I have plays in my mind that I can think of and vividly. I zone out and think of the play and where we were and all that. It’s for sure a chip. I know I’m not the only one.”
Even USC’s head coach, Lincoln Riley, shared the same sentiments, acknowledging that last year’s shortcomings still linger in his thoughts. “I want that pissed-off attitude. I don’t think I’ve had to cultivate that or create it. It’s there. It’s definitely there,” said Riley.
The 2022 season marked a significant improvement for the Trojans, especially compared to their lackluster 4-8 campaign in 2021.
However, the team’s rapid success under the leadership of Riley and Williams has raised expectations significantly. USC has now transitioned from a story of revival to a legitimate championship contender.
Will Williams win a second-straight Heisman Trophy?
More importantly, will the Trojans make the Playoff?