USC star quarterback Caleb Williams will not play in the team's upcoming Holiday Bowl vs. Louisville on Dec. 27, coach Lincoln Riley announced Monday. While the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner has not officially declared for the NFL Draft, this feels like a clear indication that Williams' spectacular three-year college football career is over.
Williams' role as arguably college football's biggest star is unquestioned. A highlight reel on every play, Williams willed the Trojans throughout many of their wins -- and losses -- as a force that demanded constant attention. His well-followed journey from Oklahoma to USC (under the direction of coach Lincoln Riley) included a run of the sport's most prestigious individual honors in 2022, including the Heisman, Maxwell and Walter Camp awards. That year, Williams threw for more than 4,500 yards and tallied more than 50 total touchdowns.
This year's disappointing 7-5 follow-up had little to do with a regression from Williams, who still racked up more than 3,600 yards passing and scored 42 touchdowns all told. Williams' run back to New York City halted after a pair of midseason losses to Notre Dame and Utah, but he was still a playmaker down the stretch in three straight losses to end the regular season with seven scores accounted for against Washington, Oregon and UCLA.
Williams is the No. 2 overall prospect and top-rated quarterback in the 2024 CBS Sports NFL draft prospect rankings.