Caleb Williams Fires Back at NFL Draft Pundit Who Suggested QB Hasn't Endured Adversity

Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams talks to the media during the NFL scouting combine.
Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams talks to the media during the NFL scouting combine. / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Former USC quarterback Caleb Williams took a moment Tuesday to address some recent chatter about his stock as a prospect leading up to the 2024 NFL draft.

On a recent appearance on Kevin Clark'sThis Is Football podcast, college football analyst Greg McElroy suggested Williams, who is widely anticipated to be selected with the No. 1 pick by the Chicago Bears later this month, doesn't play with a chip on his shoulder.

"Caleb Williams, from the time he stepped on campus at Oklahoma to the time he stepped on campus at USC, has never experienced adversity," McElroy said. "Very little adversity as far as how he was received, how he was portrayed as the next-best guy."

When that clip found the quarterback's timeline on social media, Williams typed out a response by naming three moments of adversity he overcame during his three collegiate seasons.

Williams entered his freshman season at Oklahoma as the backup quarterback to Spencer Rattler. In a game against Texas that October, Williams subbed in for a struggling Rattler and led the Sooners to a 55–48 comeback win. Williams was Oklahoma's starting quarterback for the rest of the season.

As a sophomore, Williams sustained a hamstring injury on a 59-yard run in the first quarter of USC's 47–24 loss to Utah in the Pac-12 conference championship. The game was tied 17 apiece at halftime, but the Utes outscored the Trojans 30–7 in the second half while Williams was limited.

Last season, Williams threw for 3,633 yards, 30 touchdown and just five interceptions, but USC limped to a 7–5 record and Holiday Bowl berth.

Williams believes those three experiences have built up plenty of resilience on his résumé, enough to calm any lingering concerns ahead of the 2024 NFL draft, set to begin at 8 p.m. ET on April 25 in Las Vegas.

Tom Dierberger


Tom Dierberger is a writer and editor for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Tom joined SI in 2023 after stints at FOX Sports, Bally Sports, and NBC Sports. In his spare time, Tom can be seen throwing out his arm while playing fetch with his dog, Walter B. Boy.