Caleb Williams: All on the Line
Caleb Williams is the top quarterback prospect in the 2021 class with scholarship offers from top programs coast to coast. He 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. This is 'All on the Line.'
Welcome back to All on the Line, week two of the blog.
I’ve got classes tomorrow (Monday), a little tired from the trip to Norman, Oklahoma, but I'm back.
The OU trip was multiple days. I’d already been there two times before so this was more for clarity. I got more around the campus, saw the business school and things like that.
I talked to Coach (Lincoln) Riley for a while, we were with the strength coaches, we met with some teachers, we met with President (Joseph) Harroz. We got to do that at a few other places, Penn State and Clemson...those are the only three where I’ve met with the president.
He said that he had a strategic plan and gave it to us in detail, over the stretch of these next few years. President Harroz dug into how sports at OU have always been big, especially football, the OU football fans, the alums, all the people that support OU. Their football program is one of the biggest pieces of their development over the years.
I really appreciate Coach Riley and his team, his coaching staff, for the first class act that they showed. Throughout the details and genuine love they were giving off.
I got the clarity that I needed. Having the trust in coaches and mentors Mark and Russ, my dad and my mother being with me, it also helped that they asked a few questions that I wouldn’t know to ask and they gave us the answers. It felt like it was the truth, what they were telling us.
My mother enjoyed the visit, she liked how peaceful it was. She thought it was a very mellowed out campus and that the vibe was very cool.
“From my perspective it feels like you go to Oklahoma and get into the lab for three or four years,” Carl Williams said. “You get glimpses of what they’re developing on Saturdays and they prepare you for the NFL. That’s what I really see there. We had detailed explanation. We didn’t get a chance to see a lot of Norman, we didn’t get a chance to see a lot of Oklahoma City, but we will when we return.
“In terms of meetings and things we did there, I think we got an in-depth look at what student life will be like as an athlete at Oklahoma. I think that’s really important. We feel really good about it.”
At OU I was speaking with Jalen Hurts and he wasn’t always wanted. Obviously we have different paths, but even when he wasn’t wanted he talked about grinding and getting to work, it’s really all you need.
Speaking with Jalen, I kind of got what my seventh grade motivation was, to outwork everybody. After that tough loss, it was kind of my motto for that year. It took me back to transitioning to quarterback. My dad just told me, ‘you need to just work and put your head down and go.’
I’ve been doing that ever since.
I was actually doubted early on. Ever since I was 12 and made the decision to play quarterback, I was told I wasn't going to be good enough to be the guy on any stage. I’m still trying to prove those guys wrong because I have stages to go, I believe.
Seventh grade year I was having challenges on the field. This whole thing has kind of changed my perspective. We were going through the whole season, we were in the playoffs and I was getting angry, and things like that, all the time. There was no reason to be getting angry...I would be mad at small things, which came from me wanting to be perfect. It would ruin me, ruining my game. I would start playing bad, throwing picks, fumbling, missing play calls and things like that.
I realized it during the season but it really hit when I was sat down.
Winning is just about everything to me. In a playoff game in seventh grade I was sat down. It was so frustrating to me because we won a game and did all these great things -- then the next game I was sat down for the whole game. The whole championship game in the seventh grade. After being sat down I realized that me being angry, not being level-headed, were the things that would ruin me and the game for the rest of my teammates.
As the quarterback I’ve got to be the guy.
Level-headed, chill and mellow throughout the game. Throughout any situation. I wasn’t that in the playoff game and throughout that season and I realized it after we lost that championship game. The only time we scored was when I came in for one play. It helped me realize a lot about being level-headed, to not let anybody in my head, to not get in my own head and always be that guy that’s encouraging.
I’ve never been pulled ever again.
After that championship game there's no doubt that I could change. I was never getting angry to the point people noticed it. That offseason was the ‘leave no doubt’ part, working on my attitude. Me playing linebacker and running back, I was able to get mad and just go on a rampage. But me playing quarterback, it’s a different perspective. That was just a one year change.
At quarterback your energy affects the whole team.
I was always small, I didn’t grow to 6-2 until this past year. So it was leaving no doubt that my heart for the game was bigger than everybody else's and nobody could stop me as long as I put my mind to it. I did that offseason, working on myself mentally and working on my game physically.
Peace out, guys!
I'm ready to keep working out and having fun over the next week.
Make sure you log on next week, see you online!