A Sophomore Is This Year's Heisman Winner

USC quarterback Caleb Williams takes the honor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 11, 2022 5:35 AM CST
A Sophomore Is This Year's Heisman Winner
Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams poses for a photograph after winning the Heisman Trophy Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, in New York.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

Caleb Williams brought sizzle, excitement, and star power back to Southern California football, per the AP. And now the Heisman Trophy, too. Williams, the dynamic quarterback who was the catalyst for the Trojans’ turnaround season, won the Heisman on Saturday night to make USC the first school to take home college football’s most prestigious player of the year award eight times. Williams received 544 first-place votes and 2,031 points to easily outpoint TCU quarterback Max Duggan (1,420). Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud was third in the voting after coming in fourth last season. Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett, the first Bulldogs' player to attend the award's presentations in 30 years, finished fourth.

The top-ranked Bulldogs will face Stroud and the fourth-ranked Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff on Dec. 31. Duggan and the third-ranked Horned Frogs will play No. 2 Michigan in the other CFP semifinal on New Year's Eve. “I may be standing up here today, but y'all get to the College Football Playoffs," Williams said as he started his acceptance speech by thanking the other finalists. "Guess you can't win 'em all." During the season, he passed for 4.075 yards, 37 touchdowns, and just four interceptions, setting a USC record for total offense with 4.447 yards. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound sophomore also ran for 10 touchdowns, drawing comparisons to Chiefs’ star Patrick Mahomes for his ability to improvise and deliver perfect passes from a variety of arm angles.

Williams and No. 8 USC fell short of the Pac-12 championship and a spot in the playoff, but it was still a rebirth for a college football blue blood that has had only short spurts of success over the last decade. The last time USC had a Heisman winner was 2005, when running back Reggie Bush was the second of consecutive Trojans players to win the award. The Trojans hope a revival is underway, led by Williams and coach Lincoln Riley. With the two of them orchestrating one of the nation’s most prolific offenses, USC went from 4-8 last season to 11-2 and a Cotton Bowl bid this year.

(More Heisman Trophy stories.)

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