- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Fans of No. 4 Oklahoma see the smile, his game day enthusiasm and the bevy of electric plays that true freshman quarterback Caleb Williams is authoring.
They know that he goes by the nickname Superman and that his play often looks like it was crafted on the planet Krypton.
Williams’ playground demeanor and how much he loves playing the game of football is evident as he makes opposing defenses look silly with both his arm and his feet.
All of this is true. Yet, we don’t really know Williams. He hasn’t been in front of a microphone or a camera to really let his personality shine in a public setting.
There’s been no Tiger Woods-esque “hello world” introduction. Not that it’s by any stretch necessary, but it is interesting. In an era of college football where name, image and likeness endorsements exist, Williams’ exposure is restricted here to start.
Companies want a piece of Williams’ 46-thousand plus Twitter followers and the Washington, D.C., native doesn’t need a microphone or a camera to reach those individuals, but companies also want to attach themselves to a personality that people gravitate to.
That time will eventually come where the media training wheels are taken off Williams and the collective sports world hears what the young man has to say.
Until then, exactly who is Williams? What is this Heisman hopeful like? Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley shared a glimpse into those questions.
“I think he’s a lot like what you see on game day. He’s a very unique kid. He’s got kind of different interests. He’s got a unique but fun personality. He does a good job relating to different people,” Riley said.
It’s that ability to relate to everybody so quickly that is so unique from other young players.
“Whereas sometimes you bring a guy in your program and you can tell he’s really maybe comfortable around maybe people from a similar background or from a similar part of the country that he is, but the others you can tell that he’s kind of trying to figure that out. Caleb kind of gets along with everybody, can talk to anybody,” Riley said.
“He can have a conversation with my five-year-old. He can have a conversation with anybody on our team. He can have a conversation with an adult and interact and be very personable. So, he’s got a unique ability I think to connect with different kinds of people.”
Riley said Williams is a football guy that’s driven, really into the game and the work ethic it takes, but knows how to strike that balance between being business-like and not letting the pressure of the situation overwhelm him.
“He takes it serious, but he’s got for a young guy a pretty good balance of… some young guys you get in here and they’re so tense and they almost take it too serious and they can’t relax any that you’ve got to relax them. And, then the flip side and probably more often, you get a guy in here that doesn’t know what it’s like to be business-like when it’s time to be business-like. He’s got a pretty good feel for a young guy of he can be pretty serious and pretty into it, but also it doesn’t tense him up and there’s certainly a relaxed side of him, too. Hopefully that gives you some insight. He’s a neat kid. He really is. Got a cool personality and a good way about him,” Riley said.
Williams also has his fingernails painted, too. Again, another element that adds to his uniqueness.
“I didn’t know how to explain them, so I figured I’d stay in a realm that I understand,” Riley laughs. “I’ve gotten to know the kid pretty well, but that’s some of the quirks about his personality I guess you’d say. He’s got some fashion quirks and obviously some funky fingernail paintings, but, hey, everybody’s got their thing, right?”
It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Williams is such a unique freshman with his impact, talent, and star power for this Oklahoma football team that the no-media policy is lifted in his case.
That’s also not necessarily happening anytime soon. Riley said he’s comfortable right now with maintaining that policy and explained a little about why that was the case.
“It comes from two areas. One, these guys are young. We’re building them up, we’re teaching them. And then also I think a little bit of I think we’ve always had in our program that you’ve got to earn those,” Riley explained.
“There’s been a lot of guys roll through here, there’s been a lot of really good freshman players roll through here. Our program is, there’s a lot of things kind of built on earning the trust, earning the respect and the opportunity to do things like that. We’ll see how it evolves but right now we’re pretty comfortable with where we’re at.
“I’m just going to let it evolve. I wouldn’t take anything off the table. What do I think is best for the team and the individual? If I ever get to the point with him or anybody else where I feel like there would be a benefit, then I would have no problem doing it. I can’t just do it just because people want to talk to him and I understand that everybody does and I understand that that’s their jobs too but first description under my job is do the best thing I can for the team and for the individuals within it.”
Sooner Nation can wait to hear from Caleb Williams directly. In the meantime, fans are more interested in watching him throw for more than 400 yards with six touchdown passes like he did against Texas Tech anyways.