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Caleb Williams Reportedly Made $10 Million in His Two Seasons at USC

The Athletic featured a story today on presumptive No. 1 pick Caleb Williams and his unique situation as the NFL Draft approaches. There's a lot of interesting stuff in there, but the paragraph that turned heads was the mention of Williams's reported NIL earnings in his two seasons at USC.

The Athletic — Between NIL money and endorsements, Caleb made millions in his final two seasons at USC, with multiple sources putting the number around $10 million. “It wasn’t like having a college quarterback on your roster,” said a source close to USC. “It was like having an NFL starting quarterback on your roster.”

It wouldn't have taken a rocket scientist to figure out Williams was certainly making a lot of money as a Heisman Trophy winner and marketable brand in the NIL era, but $10 million is a fuckload. When you consider, though, that Williams is really the only guy we've seen have big, national commercial deals — except when Dr. Pepper hitched its wagon to an unproven DJ Uiagalelei before pivoting to Williams — it makes a bit more sense. I'd love to know what Wendy's and Dr. Pepper were willing to pay for the early rights to a surefire No. 1 pick.

It seems like earlier reports of Williams not wanting to play in Chicago are probably mostly untrue or at least exaggerated, but if there was ever a guy who could afford to take a year off if he wanted to, it's Williams. I don't know how much of a hit he'd take in the eyes of teams for doing that — and he's not going to — but being a supposedly generational talent who also made $10 million in college affords you the opportunity to make the rules unlike guys have ever been able to do before.

Must be nice, man.