One thing about Caleb Williams stands out entering 2022 at USC

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On The Riley Files, Oklahoma insider Kegan Reneau discussed the 2021 Oklahoma season, in which the Sooners fell well short of the national championship expectations they carried into September.

The season was a profound failure. That said, it wasn’t 9-4 or 8-5, either. It wasn’t a total bust — not with an 11-2 record — for one reason: Caleb Williams.

“His (Lincoln Riley’s) quarterback didn’t develop the way he needed to in 2021,” Reneau said. “Luckily for him, he had Caleb Williams at the time, but he was just a freshman. They didn’t have an elder spokesperson in that room who was a little more mature, had a little bit of game experience, a little more life experience. They didn’t have that to really settle things down, (nor did they have) offensive line play.”

This brings up a point about Caleb Williams. Though only a sophomore, he has already gone through so much in his collegiate career and is handling so many responsibilities (NIL deals, sponsorships, football, being a public figure in Los Angeles) that he can be an elder statesman in the locker room. Williams is already looked to as a real leader in the locker room.

Lincoln Riley should not lack the player leadership which negatively affected his 2021 season at Oklahoma.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire