University of Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams won the Heisman Trophy in a ceremony in New York City Saturday night.
A sophomore from Washington, D.C., Williams entered his first season with the Trojans with sky-high expectations after he transferred from Oklahoma. Williams not only met those expectations, he exceeded them by leading the Trojans all the way to the Pac-12 Championship game.
Williams becomes the school’s first player to win the award since Reggie Bush in 2005. Bush’s award remains vacated.
This year’s other Heisman Trophy finalists were fellow quarterbacks Stetson Bennett of Georgia, Max Duggan of TCU and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud.
Fourteen months ago, Williams was a freshman backup in Norman and was getting his first real chance to play in the Red River Rivalry game against Texas. Williams may have entered the game with the hope of simply giving the Sooners a spark. He finished the game with two passing touchdowns and a rushed for a score, leading Oklahoma to a win over Texas.
Williams received 544 first-place votes. His 2,031 points easily surpassed Duggan, who finished second. Stroud came in third place, followed by Bennett.
Williams was also recently named The Associated Press college football player of the year, becoming the school’s first winner of the award since 2005 with his stellar debut season for the Trojans. He received 32 of the 46 first-place votes and 117 total points from AP Top 25 poll voters to win the award.
The Heisman Trophy winner finished well ahead of Duggan, who came in second with six first-place votes and 64 points.
Stroud was third, Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker was fourth and Georgia’s Bennett fifth.
Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr.the first repeat SEC defensive player of the year, was the only non-quarterback among this year’s top eight vote recipients. He finished sixth after coming in fourth last season.
Williams threw for 4,075 passing yards and 37 passing touchdowns in 13 games this year. The quarterback also racked up 372 rushing yards and had 10 rushing touchdowns.
He joins Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray as the third quarterback Lincoln Riley has coached who has become a Heisman winner. He is the first Trojan quarterback to win the prestigious since Matt Leinart in 2004.
The 20-year-old is set to return to USC next season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.