USC QB Caleb Williams becomes DC region’s first Heisman winner

D.C. native and University of Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams has become the first-ever player from the D.C. region to win the Heisman Trophy, college football’s most coveted award.

ESPN announced Williams, who had been the betting favorite, as the winner on Saturday night.

This year, Williams, 20, has led the Trojans to an 11-2 record during his breakout sophomore year at USC. But before he played collegiately, Williams was showcasing his preternatural skill at Gonzaga College High School in the District.

“Caleb has a unique ability to, in big moments and pressure situations, make things almost look routine — easy, for lack of a better term,” Gonzaga head coach Randy Trivers told WTOP.

Trivers, who coached Williams until he graduated in 2021, added that “he’s always had this beyond-his-years poise under pressure.”

It was something that frequently stunned Trivers when he was first getting to know Williams years ago. He’s enjoyed watching the rest of the country in awe of the Heisman winner this season.

Trivers and Williams still check in with each other when they can, the coach said.

“It would be a big thing for the D.C. area, as far as having a native Washingtonian be able to take home one of the most prestigious prizes that we have in athletics,” Trivers said, prior to Williams’ win.

The coach acknowledged that it was a team effort in getting Williams to this point, from his family to his teachers and coaches, but the star quarterback makes it easy to root for since he’s such a quality person.

“Anyone that’s known Caleb, and the good person that he is and the heart that he has as a human being, you feel good for him,” Trivers said.

WTOP’s Ben Raby contributed to this report.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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