Lincoln Riley has been the head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners for three seasons now, and in those three years his quarterbacks have either won the Heisman or been a finalist – and all three have been taken in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft.
That is really all he needs to say when recruiting a high school quarterback to come to Norman, and it has shown with his recent success.
This year’s incumbent starter Spencer Rattler was a highly touted recruit, and the expectation is he will have a monster season in the Crimson and Cream this coming fall.
Riley then had his apparent next starter in line with Brock Vandagriff, another 5-star prospect, but Vandagriff ended up decommitting and choosing to stay closer to home and attend Georgia.
Since then, Riley has landed Chandler Morris – another well-thought of prospect who could take the reigns after Rattler’s time is up. But, Riley and the Sooner fans have had their eyes set on 5-Star prospect Caleb Williams ever since Vandagriff chose to not attend Oklahoma.
Williams is the #1 quarterback in the class of 2021, and would certainly be the presumed starter for Riley once the Rattler era was over.
Leaving one of the biggest questions of the offseason simply being – does OU get their man?
Williams’ Final Three
Williams has already narrowed it down to his final three schools he is picking from: Maryland, Oklahoma, and LSU.
Being from the DC area, it makes sense that Maryland is getting heavy consideration. LSU is the defending national champions and just had their quarterback win the Heisman trophy and then go #1 in the NFL Draft.
And then there is Lincoln Riley and Oklahoma.
It seems like any top quarterback for the forseeable future is going to have to consider Riley as an option due to the simple fact that he is sending his QB’s to the Heisman ceremony and the NFL every single year.
It will come down to what Williams values the most himself – staying closer to home, going to the premier conference, or getting the chance to put up video game numbers in Norman.
Maryland and LSU Pickups Could Factor
Another factor that will affect Williams’ decision will be how willing he is to head to a situation where he will need to compete for the starting job.
LSU just recently landed 4-Star quarterback Garrett Nussmeier, who is in the same class as Williams.
Understandably, most people saw this as a big hit for the Tigers in the Williams sweepstakes – but Caleb himself said it does not affect his decision-making.
The Maryland Terrapins may have a similar situation awaiting Williams in College Park.
Former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s younger brother Taulia may be headed their way in the near future, as he has announced his intention to transfer away from Alabama and Nick Saban.
It seems like Miami is mostly considered the favorites to land Tagovailoa, where he could be in the same city as his brother who was just drafted by the Miami Dolphins, but Maryland is right behind the Hurricanes in the running.
So, LSU has an apparent QB ready to go in the near future – and Maryland could as well very soon.
For what it’s worth, these situations really aren’t much different than what OU offers by having Chandler Morris.
So, while it may not necessarily create an advantage for OU – it could make all things equal for Riley to strike.
Timetable Remains a Question
The toughest part of this for the fans and media alike is not knowing when Williams will make his decision.
He has no reason to rush, and absolutely should take his time with a huge life decision. But in an COVID-19 world where there are so few things going on in the sports universe, every move he makes is analyzed as being a hint toward a selection.
A fake Twitter pretending to be Williams claimed they were making the decision later that same day – and it immediately blew up with lots of reaction before people realized the account was fake.
People are starved for any sports news, and fans of OU, Maryland, and LSU are chomping at the bit to get Williams’ selection on where he’ll attend school.
It is unfortunately impossible to know exactly when he will announce his choice, we all just have to stay ready for the moment when it comes.
Anticipation is Extremely High, As Are the Stakes
The Caleb Williams’ decision is undoubtedly the biggest thing going on in the world of OU football right now, and everyone is highly anticipating the announcement.
It is truly amazing that Lincoln Riley could potentially manage to choose Brock Vandagriff over Williams, lose Vandagriff, and then still manage to somehow land Williams.
It is worth noting that Caleb’s Twitter profile picture has been his mother with Lincoln Riley for some time now – what that means is up to you to decide but it certainly can’t be a bad thing for Oklahoma’s chances.
What makes Williams’ selection even larger than the fact that whatever team he chooses gets a top tier quarterback prospect, is that he has has been openly recruiting other top prospects to join him wherever he goes.
So, whatever team lands Williams will also likely land several other big time young offensive weapons along with him.
Stay plugged into The Franchise both on the air and on the web for all the latest on OU football, and be sure to follow The Franchise (@FranchiseOK) and myself (@JoshCallaway714) on Twitter to be up to date on all the latest news and for when Caleb Williams decides where he will be playing football next.