USC football player Caleb Williams won the 2022 Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, winning the nation’s most sought-after individual award in his debut season playing for the Trojans.
Williams beat the other three finalist finalists, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and TCU’s Max Duggan, and Georgia’s Stetson Bennett, in the first team of all-quarterback Heisman winners since the last time in last year’s. Duggan placed second in the vote, Stroud in third place, and Bennett in fourth. It’s the 11th time over the past 13 years that an NFL quarterback has been awarded the award.
“To become a part of this prestigious fraternity will be a true honor and something that I will be grateful for throughout my life,” Williams said during his acceptance speech at the Saturday night’s event held in New York City. “While this might be an individual prize, I am sure that there is absolutely everything in the game, or life, is accomplished by one person.”
Williams wins the 2022 Heisman Trophy Awards
Williams currently leads his team in FBS with passing touchdowns (37) and is ranked fourth in passing yards (4,075). He, as well as Lincoln Riley, both left Oklahoma after the 2021 season, settled in USC, and helped to turn around the program.
While the Trojans did not make it to being in the College Football Playoff after losing to Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game, they continued their winning streak with a 4-8 record, which saw the demise of coach Clay Helton with an 11-2 year in 2022. The team also earned an invitation to the Cotton Bowl versus Tulane.
Williams suffered an injury to his hamstring that was painful during the defeat to the Utes this past weekend, throwing a late interception and collecting seven sacks during the game. However, Williams finished with 363 pass yards and three touchdowns, even scoring a fourth-quarter first down using his legs, despite the injury.
Because of the injury, it’s not known that Williams will be able to play at all in January’s. 2 bowl games.
As a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma in 2021, Williams was the replacement for benched quarterback Spencer Rattler and finished the year with 1,912 yards of passing with 21 touchdowns and four interceptions with 442 rushing yards and six scores over 11 games.
When Riley left for USC, he decided which quarterback he would take to the team. The Trojans took on the transfer portal with a vengeance in the offseason. They landed Williams as an ex-Pitt wide receiver Jordan Addison, former Oregon running back Travis Dye, former Colorado wide receiver Brenden Rice (Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice’s son), and former Oklahoma wide receiver Mario Williams, among others.
Williams isn’t eligible to be a special draft candidate as an underclassman until 2024. He could start the campaign as the Heisman favorite once more and put his Trojans in an excellent position to build upon their success from the 2022 campaign.
His fantastic athleticism, arm talent, improvisational skill, and top production make Williams among the top quarterbacks in the last few years. Plus, he’s got more college football in the future.
“If your willingness to make an effort in a positive environment, you can accomplish everything,” Williams said later in his speech on Saturday. “I used to write down my goals for the day in my journal. What was just written on paper is now a reality today. For all of us, dreams truly can come true. Thank you. Fighting on.”
The second-place finisher Duggan was this year’s top-rated player as he went from TCU’s backup quarterback (Chandler Morris beat out Duggan in a game in the summer) in the first game against Colorado to becoming one of the most successful quarterbacks in the country when Duggan was back in the starting lineup following, Morris was injured in the game against the Buffaloes.
Duggan turned in one of the greatest seasons by a Horned Frogs signal-caller, throwing for 3,321 yards and 30 TDs and just four interceptions and running for 6 TDs and 404 yards. TCU was able to secure its first CFB Playoff place by orchestrating many thrilling, dramatic comebacks.
Duggan’s heroics during the Big 12 title game last week was not enough. However, the team could not make it through because TCU was unable to win in the overtime game against Kansas State, but the player’s ferocious effort captured lots of fans’ focus.
Stroud was one of the finalist candidates to win the Heisman in 2021. He finished fourth in the poll the previous year. He was one of the preseason’s biggest contenders for the award in 2022.
His statistics didn’t change in any significant way during the season. Still, he experienced slight declines in TD passes (from 43 to 37) and passed yards (from 4,435 in 441 attempts at passing to 3,340 on 355 passes during the season) and was unable to bring his Buckeyes over Michigan in the final game of the regular season.
However, the 2022 Ohio State season has been better than 2021’s thus far and has seen the Buckeyes getting a place in the College Football Playoff.
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Bennett’s stats aren’t as impressive as those of other finalists. Still, the game that won him the national championship last season, offensive MVP, was his best performance for the college football’s top team to date with 3,425 yards of passing with 20 touchdowns, six INTs while running for seven touchdowns in the midst of Georgia losing several talented players to NFL and UGA having a more run-oriented group.
The voters for the Heisman Trophy comprise the media’s 870 members, which includes all living Heisman winners, as well as a total fan vote.
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