Caleb Williams to Enter Transfer Portal; Staying at Oklahoma 'Definitely' an Option

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 3, 2022

Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams (13) during the first half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game against Oregon, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Spencer Rattler may not be the only quarterback to transfer from Oklahoma before the 2022 season.

Caleb Williams, who took over as the starting signal-caller during the 2021 campaign after Rattler struggled with consistency, announced he will enter the transfer portal:

Caleb Williams @CALEBcsw

<a href="https://t.co/8GcVHURSIL">pic.twitter.com/8GcVHURSIL</a>

Williams explained "according to NCAA rules, the only way I can speak with other schools and see who may offer the best preparation and development for my future career is by entering the portal. Staying at OU will definitely be an option as I begin this process."

His father, Carl, spoke with Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports and discussed what the family is looking for with this move:    

Pete Thamel @PeteThamel

Carl Williams: “Professional development. We want Caleb to be ready to play when he becomes a pro. You go to college to get prepared for your career. His chosen career path is professional football. We want him to be prepared for when that time comes.”

Williams notably highlighted the "sudden changes this season sent shockwaves through Sooner Nation and were really hard for the whole team" in his statement.

That is putting it mildly.

Oklahoma started the 2021 season with Rattler on the short list of realistic Heisman Trophy candidates, Lincoln Riley as its head coach and national championship aspirations. However, narrow wins over Nebraska, West Virginia, Kansas State, Texas and Kansas suggested the ceiling was limited, and losses to Baylor and Oklahoma State dropped the Sooners from the College Football Playoff discussion.

Rattler lost his starting job and transferred to South Carolina, Riley took the head coach position with USC, and the program hired Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables as the new head coach.

Venables already has a major recruiting battle on his hands before he even coaches a game when it comes to keeping Williams aboard as the starting quarterback.

A former longtime Sooners assistant coach, Venables and athletic director Joe Castiglione released a statement saying they respect Williams' decision but still "believe OU provides Caleb the best opportunity to develop as a player and realize his goals for college and beyond."        

Oklahoma Football @OU_Football

Statement from Joe Castiglione and Brent Venables on today’s announcement by Caleb Williams: <a href="https://t.co/qGHlDqIDp2">pic.twitter.com/qGHlDqIDp2</a>

Frankly, whether the Sooners can keep Williams or not will likely go a long way toward determining how their 2022 campaign unfolds.

He threw for 21 touchdowns and four interceptions while adding six touchdowns on the ground and is someone who can hurt opposing defenses with his arm and legs. Williams figured to be the face of the program for the immediate future, especially with Rattler gone, and the Washington D.C. prep star already started living up to the expectations that accompanied him as a 5-star recruit in the 2021 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

Losing him would be a major blow for a program looking to return to the CFP discussion next season.