Should Caleb Williams play or prepare for NFL?

With another Heisman Trophy and a College Football Playoff berth out of reach, some wonder if Caleb Williams should focus on the NFL draft now.

LOS ANGELES — Caleb Williams came into the season as the bonafide best player in the country, the presumed number one overall pick, and the prince that was promised for the National Football League. Through the first five games, Williams picked up right where he left off last season and was twirling the pigskin as good as anyone had seen at the collegiate level. The past three games (as previously reported) have been all but worthy for consideration of the first overall pick. The back-to-back losses in South Bend and at home to Utah have caused a stir in the media on whether or not Caleb Williams should play the remaining games on the Trojan schedule. And while we’ll get to the Cal match-up (a game in which Caleb is playing), we must first break down why Caleb should and will finish the job as the Trojans signal caller, no matter what.

He’s Going In The Top-5 No Matter What

Only a non-football-related injury can prevent Caleb from going into the top-5. So unless he should avoid driving in cars, using sharp objects, and eating chewy foods, we shouldn’t treat him like the Salvator Mundi. Injury is the last thing any of us want for any player, but if he sits out to “protect his money,” what message does that send to the rest of the team? NFL scouts? Is this the right message we should be pushing on our young athletes? “When the going gets tough, take your money and get going?” It’d be shocking to see Caleb bail on the second half of the year, even if their playoff hopes are dashed, based on what we’ve seen from him as a teammate. He carries himself as a leader in games and at practice. Williams also took the mic to stick up for the defense in their (unnecessary) nail-biter vs the Arizona Wildcats. Yes, we’ve heard the rumors swirl that he wants a stake in the team that drafts him, but he doesn’t strike me as a “me before we” type of guy in the grand scheme. With all that being said, I’m sure he’s mindful of how imperative his playing is to the future of some of his teammates. Depending on who’s under center will ultimately impact where and when guys like Washington and Rice get drafted; ditto with Marshawn Lloyd, who’s into late day two talk. Does Caleb owe his teammates anything? No. He has to look out for his future. I don’t see the benefit for his future if he sits out. Bottom line: Williams’ last three weeks haven’t been up to snuff for the “no-questions-asked” first overall pick, and the team can still win the PAC-12. There’s more football to be played, and Williams will be playing it as he lines up under center this Saturday.

Is There A Future?

Speaking of the future, is there a future for Coach Grinch in Southern California? Unfortunately, and despite the ability of the defense to generate tremendous pressure on the quarterback, Grinch hasn’t done himself any favors in terms of being employed this season. From the inexcusable play vs back-up QBs (ASU and Utah) to welcoming Colorado back into the game with arms wide-opened, Grinch has been on the receiving end of some deserved criticism. This is what he had to say about the noise in the media:


Alex Grinch has been under fire all season. Here’s hist stance on the criticisms he’s received in the media #trojans #usc #cfb #uscfootball #collegefootball

♬ original sound – The Sporting Tribune

Look, if he gives up 30+ to Cal, he should be sent packing, win or lose. This defense has way too much talent to be coughing up the points the way it has been. Bear Alexander is a top prospect for 2025, and Bullock Byrd and Muhammad are all players who’ll be playing on Sundays, no question. This defense has put this team out of the playoff hunt. The final drive against the Utah Utes was sad to watch. The PAC-12 title is still feasible if the Trojans win out. They must show up against Cal and make a statement, or we can see a significant mid-season change.

Why The Trojans Bounce Back

Buy the dip? I’m drinking the Kool-Aid one more time and buying the dip of the Trojans. The QB play for the Cal Bears isn’t anything spectacular, and I want to imagine the offense can jump out ahead to hopefully minimize the run game, which is Cal’s strong suit. The game was close last year as USC won by six points. The line right now is 10, and for the sake of Grinch’s job, I’m saying they cover. IF USC doesn’t? I’d imagine it’s because the rind-defense continues to be the Achilles heal, and we see the last of Coach Grinch, unfortunately. USC has hit 10 of their last 11 overs, so I feel good about betting on many points in this one.

Final Score Prediction

USC 51 Cal 35 is the final score prediction. Caleb Williams has a get-right game; Grinch shows enough through 3 quarters to keep his gig…for now.