Caleb Williams breaks Caitlin Clark's draft-night record for jersey sales

Caleb Williams points to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who is holding up a Williams No. 1 Chicago Bears jersey

Fans of the Chicago Bears seem pretty excited to have former USC quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams on the team.

How excited are they? Based on draft-night jersey sales data, possibly more excited than any fan base of any sports team has ever been about any draft pick.

The Bears selected Williams with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft Thursday in Detroit. By the end of the night, Williams' jersey had broken the Fanatics record for draft-night sales for any draft pick in any sport.

Caitlin Clark and WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert hold up an Indiana Fever jersey onstage at the WNBA draft.
Former Iowa star Caitlin Clark, left, stands with WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert after being drafted by the Indiana Fever on April 15 in New York. (Adam Hunger / Associated Press)

The previous record was set last week by basketball phenomenon Caitlin Clark, the former Iowa superstar who was chosen by the Indiana Fever with the top pick in the WNBA draft. She will wear No. 22.

Before Clark, Trevor Lawrence had the most draft-night jersey sales in Fanatics history after he was selected No. 1 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021.

The news was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter and confirmed to The Times by Fanatics, the official online sportswear retailer for most U.S. sports leagues, including the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB and NHL.

The Fanatics site has five variations of Williams' jersey available for pre-order, with a note saying the items will be shipped "4-6 weeks after the player’s number is officially confirmed." In Williams' case, the Bears have already done that — he will be wearing No. 18, the same number he wore at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C.

Read more: USC's Caleb Williams, UCLA's Laiatu Latu are top pick and top defender taken in draft

Williams wore No. 13 in college, both during his freshman season at Oklahoma and his two years with the Trojans. That number, however, is also worn by Keenan Allen, the veteran receiver the Bears acquired from the Chargers during the offseason.

The Bears are looking for their first winning season since 2018 and their first playoff win since 2010. Williams is the third quarterback they've drafted in the first round in the last eight years, following Mitch Trubisky at No. 2 overall in 2017 and Justin Fields at No. 11 overall in 2021.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.