Oklahoma took another hit yesterday when its quarterback of the future announced that he would follow Lincoln Riley out west to play for USC. It had become the expectation, and nearly all of Sooner Nation world had read the tea leaves and moved on from Williams.
Just a matter of weeks ago Williams was the apple of Oklahoma’s eye and his self-proclaimed moniker of “Superman” was being used by nearly everyone who donned the crimson and cream. Hell, I probably shared or retweeted something about him being “Superman” after he led the herculean comeback against Texas back in October.
Now, Oklahoma’s freshman phenom has gone rogue and a Sooner legend isn’t about to let fans forget how quickly they crowned him as their new king. Roy Williams, OU’s original Superman, called out Sooner fans on Twitter for giving Williams his nickname without him earning it.
I get where he is coming from, and really I agree with him. Caleb Williams started seven games for Oklahoma and went 5-2 as a starter. Sure, he led an amazing comeback in his debut against Texas, and he showed flashes of greatness throughout the second half of the season. But there were also times against Baylor and Oklahoma State when he looked pedestrian.
Now, do I think Williams is an average quarterback? No. I believe he will be in the Heisman race next season, and in 2023, and he will be a first-round draft pick in the 2024 draft. Williams is an elite talent who showed growing pains against top competition. He will carve up Pac-12 defenses like a hot knife through butter.
I think the point that Roy “Superman” Williams is trying to make is that Oklahoma fans were quick to give a freshman the nickname of “Superman” before he really earned anything. Roy Williams earned that nickname with one of the most memorable plays in college football history, on top of a career that included accolades such as National Champion (2000), Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year (2001), Bronko Nagurski Trophy (2001), Jim Thorpe Award (2001), 2x All-Big 12 First-Team Selection (2000, 2001), and Consensus First-Team All-American (2001).
That is a college career worthy of the nickname “Superman.” Caleb Williams is special, no doubt, but he has earned something more along the lines of “The Flash.” His career in Norman was bright for a moment, but gone in an instant as he bolted for greener pastures in Los Angeles.