USC quarterback Caleb Williams won the 2022 Heisman trophy on Sunday, earning him college football’s highest individual honor. Williams became the first Trojan to win the Heisman since 2005 and the third USC quarterback to hoist the coveted trophy.
Williams, one of four finalists, received 2,031 total points. Max Duggan, Texas Christian University, placed second with 1,420 points; C.J. Stroud, Ohio State University, with 539 points; and Stetson Bennett, the University of Georgia, with 349 points. The win was bittersweet as Williams acknowledged that his honored competitors were getting ready for a different competition, “I may be standing up here today, but you all get to go to the college playoffs. Guess you can’t win them all,” he said.
Williams, a transfer student from the University of Oklahoma, is credited with bringing USC back to national prominence. His numbers tell the story. Williams completed 66% of his passes for 4,075 yards and 37 touchdowns. He ran the ball 109 times for 372 yards and ten touchdowns. Along with winning the Heisman, Williams was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and the Associated Press College Football Player of the Year. He set the school record for total offensive yards – 4,447.
A humble and gracious young man, Williams thanked many who helped him reach this pinnacle in his career. He thanked “the most important woman in his life,” his mom, Dayna Price. “Thank you for always being my mom first. The woman behind the scenes who has a smile on her face and is willing to help others.” He thanked his dad – Carl Williams, “the old man,” for showing him the way. “You’re always there for me, making sacrifices in your life so I can achieve my dreams, which eventually became our dreams. We’re in this together, and I wouldn’t want it any other way,” he said.
Williams gave a special shoutout to his fellow Trojan Heisman winners who were present at the ceremony – Matt Leinart, Carson Palmer, and Mike Garrett saying, “while this may be an individual award, I certainly understand that nothing — and absolutely nothing — in this sport, nor life, is done alone.”
Williams put action behind that sentiment, bringing eight of his fellow USC offensive lineman – Bobby Haskins, Courtland Ford, Andrew Vorhees, Gino Quinones, Brett Neilon, Justin Dedich, Jonah Monheim, and Mason Murphy to New York, a sure sign that NIL money and partners can make many things possible. He thanked his coach Lincoln Riley, “Big Dog.” “They say you either change your dreams or change your habits and I damn sure wasn’t going to change my dreams. I’m glad you didn’t change yours, either. But we both know the job’s not done,” Williams said.
Williams is the first football player from the DMV – local parlance for the DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas to win the Heisman. He attended Gonzaga College High School in Washington and spoke of his love of football from age 10, “If you’re willing to put in the work and surround yourself with positive people, you can achieve anything. I used to write down my goals in a journal and what used to be words on a piece of paper has me standing here today.”
Williams ended his magical night with a big smile and those infamous words, “Fight On.”