Caleb Williams: All on the Line
Caleb Williams is the top quarterback prospect in the 2021 recruiting class with scholarship offers from top programs coast to coast. The Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga star has agreed to give Sports Illustrated exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from his experience as a high profile recruit to his home life and preparation for his senior season.
I'm Caleb Williams, Gonzaga High School's 2021 quarterback. I'm excited to be bringing an exclusive weekly blog about my life to Sports Illustrated called, 'Caleb Williams: All on the Line.'
It's a raw, first-hand experience of my family, my college recruiting, my training, quarterback development and my last chapter of high school ball.
I made the decision, at the age of 12, to change to quarterback.
It was really the time that I started training. Before that it was just me doing it for fun, it was the sport that I loved to play and be a part of -- be a part of a team and go win. It just brought out the competitive spirit in me.
Before that, I actually didn't play quarterback, I played linebacker for about four years when I was younger. I also played running back. That's how I started off. First I played flag football for a year and I was a little too aggressive. So my mom finally gave me the OK on me being able to play tackle ball.
After playing this national team I made the decision to play quarterback and get on a big stage in high school, play on a big stage in college and hopefully the dream keeps going and allows me to get to the next level after college.
I remember very vividly playing in that national game. We lost in the semifinals, in Texas, and it hit me really hard. I felt like there was a little daddy ball going on, daddy ball is just the coach and the coach's son taking over the game. You don't usually win with that because it's a team game. I remember I was crying and crying hard, too. I hate losing, especially in big games.
I made the decision that I wanted to be a quarterback because I wanted to spread the ball around, I wanted everybody to touch the ball, I wanted everybody to feel like they were a part of the game. Ever since then, I've still been trying to do that. If everybody eats, I'm going to get mine at some point.
My dad has let me drive my own boat in the football department. What I want to play, who I want to be. He just helped me keep pushing and taught me that I had to put in the work if I want to be the best. I've always had a chip on my shoulder about being the best...I'm still fighting for being the best in the country for however long I can play.
When I was 12 and said I wanted to do it, my dad asked me if I was sure. After that he put together a plan, not just a football and working out plan, a meal plan, schedule, social and all of that. Since then I've grown and matured and I'm able to kind of direct myself with the help of my dad and my coaches.
I've been training for six years now. It hasn't always just been quarterback training...it was a lot of speed and agility, a lot of things that added to the quarterback instead of being just inside the pocket or being a quarterback who runs. It adds the full game to my game. Being able to run, being able to pass, being able to make people miss in the pocket, getting outside of the pocket and just hopefully be better than everybody.
That's my goal, to be better than everybody on the field and win games.
In the early stages I went to camps. FBU, the Manning camp, Russell Wilson's, NFA, QBEPIC, the Trent Dilfer one. And then I stopped going for a little period. I focused on myself and playing ball back at home. Then the past, going on four years, I've been to QB Collective each year. I went to The Opening last year, got MVP of that, and have gotten MVP at most recent camps I've been to recently.
Coming into high school, I was not first team. My coach, Randy Trivers, had a message.
'I'll promise you a chance but I won't promise you a spot.'
That was really all I needed. When I was younger I was never promised anything. I wasn't the biggest guy, wasn't the fastest guy or any of that. I just felt like I had the biggest heart for football and I believe I was on the field because of that.
My love for football overruled that.
I believed in myself, had enough self-confidence and showed I was the best for Gonzaga at that time. I actually had two rising juniors above me when I was going into my freshman year. We went into 7-on-7, scrimmages and I went into the first game as a starter.
The rest has been history.
Freshman year, my first offer was either during or right after football season. It was Maryland, the home town. Ever since Maryland it turned into BC, Boston College, Penn State, Rutgers and blew up. I have 30-plus offers now.
Over the next few days I'll be going to Oklahoma on a visit.
If you just go look at their recent history with Coach (Lincoln) Riley, that should be enough to get me back on campus. With Baker (Mayfield), to Kyler (Murray), to Jalen Hurts. They were all Heisman contenders, two Heisman winners and two were first overall picks. Jalen is coming up in this draft and he should go high.
I've already visited there twice and I've liked it. I like Coach Riley. He and I were in the war room--they call it--the offensive meeting room. We were going through a bunch of plays; we were talking and connected very well. I think it was for a long time and it wasn't supposed to be, it was supposed to be 20 minutes or so and it went way longer. I have a good connection with Coach Riley. The recent history is enough for me to come back.
Still trying to figure out if that is one of the places for me out of all the schools I'm choosing from. And just the feeling of being there and if I could be out there for three or four years and call it my home.
If I can call it home for the rest of my life.
Thanks for reading!
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