Dan Wetzel, Pete Thamel and SI’s Pat Forde discuss the impact of Caleb Williams entering the transfer portal as well as landing spots for the former 5-star QB recruit on the latest episode of the College Football Enquirer podcast. Check out the full episode wherever you listen to podcasts.
DAN WETZEL: Caleb Williams has left Oklahoma, massive free agent, thoughts on this Pat.
PAT FORDE: I mean big one, big, big name in the portal. I don’t blame him, I perfectly understand it. I mean, this is a guy that came to play for Lincoln Riley. Played for Lincoln Riley, Lincoln Riley left. Dan as you put it, I mean, he was following the example set by his school and his head coach and finding an opportunity he deemed to be better.
PETE THAMEL: The Caleb Williams piece of this has been really interesting to me in a lot of ways. Like it’s the most interesting story looming over the sport right now because he’s really going to end up indicative, and Dan wrote a good column about it of this error free agency that we’re in. I think 10 years from now we’ll remember Caleb Williams as being a transformative figure in the shift to players having the power now.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah look this is about business. Caleb Williams is in the quarterback business. And if you’re Caleb Williams and you’re his family, and they have done this from the start as Pete has reported, throughout. This is about how do I get to the league?
If Caleb Williams projects to be a top five pick in a couple of years, if he is good he projects to get one of these second quarterback contracts. Which– like last year Josh Allen signed a one that could be worth $258 million. It’s $150 million guaranteed for Josh Allen. Real good player but we’re not even talking Mahomes.
PETE THAMEL: Right.
DAN WETZEL: You’re talking generations of wealth laying on what happens in the next few years. Not just two to get you drafted but how prepared are you going in? And will you get that second contract? I mean, you’re talking tens of millions right away and then hundreds of millions in the next seven years.
Of course, you’re going to be like that matters more than just about anything. Oh, you’ve got to play for the love of the team. Nobody ever said that had hundreds of millions of dollars laying on the line.
And so for Caleb Williams goes to Oklahoma because of Lincoln Riley, he didn’t grow up in Oklahoma City, he grew up in Washington DC. He didn’t go to Oklahoma to watch the sunset over the oil fields. If you were Caleb Williams, where would you go?
PAT FORDE: You know, I mean, USC makes a lot of sense. If you want to go play for a guy who has tutored quarterbacks, who are starting in the NFL and were number one picks. And you want to play in a place where you are going to get a lot of exposure and the NIL opportunities could be through the roof, hard to top USC in my opinion.
I mean, that’s a lot right there that fits what they are looking for. If he is in the business of being a quarterback, that would make USC to me very hard to be.
DAN WETZEL: Like the most obvious one to me and I don’t think he’d go there, and I’m not sure he should but it’s Michigan. Jim Harbaugh was a 15 year NFL quarterback. He coached Alex Smith in the pros. He took Colin Kaepernick to the Super Bowl. He coached and recruited Andrew Luck.
What about like Tony Elliott of Virginia? He had Trevor Lawrence. He had Deshaun Watson right. Now he’s the head coach of Virginia, you’re going to step right in there. And there’s two other aspects to this, like if you want to make the biggest splash to me, in terms of attention, potential legendary status, I’d go to Notre Dame.
Notre Dame is really good but they need Caleb Williams, right? And it says huge brand and you got the whole thing and they’re going open the season Ohio State, like Holy cow, go to Notre Dame. You may not get the we’re going to promise you seven this NIL money but the long play, that’s the short cash. The long play money, I would go Notre Dame. This is a much bigger decision and it’s not an obvious decision on where to go.