Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams announced Monday that he would be entering the NCAA transfer portal on the heels of his head coach Lincoln Riley’s decision to leave for USC. Williams, a native of Bowie, Maryland, completed 64.6% of his passes for 1,916 yards, 21 touchdowns and four interceptions in 11 games as a true freshman for the Sooners this season.
“I think we all come to college to find our own path and prepare for the future,” Williams wrote. “I came to Oklahoma with a game plan, but with all of the recent changes, I need to figure out what is the right path for me moving forward. According to NCAA rules, as a student-athlete, the only way I can speak with other schools and see who may offer the best preparation and development for my future career is by entering the portal. Staying at OU will definitely be an option as I begin this process.”
Coming out of high school, Williams’s top three preferred college destinations were Oklahoma, Maryland and LSU. He also considered Georgia, Penn State and Clemson earlier in the process, according to 247Sports. ESPN ranked the 5-star Gonzaga product as the No. 16 overall 2021 recruit in the country, placing second among quarterbacks in his class behind only Washington’s Sam Huard.
After announcing its intention to join Texas in leaving the Big 12 for the SEC by 2025, Oklahoma replaced Riley with former assistant Brent Venables. The new head coach said in an interview with local TV station News 9 in mid-December he would “be surprised” if Williams left the program. The Sooners then capped off their 11-2 season two weeks later with a 47-32 win over Oregon in the Valero Alamo Bowl that saw Williams throw for 242 yards and three touchdowns.
Regardless of whether or not he stays at Oklahoma, Williams will be eligible for the NFL Draft after the 2023 college football season.