Five-star quarterback drops Penn State from his three finalists, but Maryland makes cut
One of the top quarterback recruits in the Class of 2021 has trimmed his list of suitors to three teams, and Maryland made the cut.
Penn State, however, did not.
Caleb Williams, a five-star prospect from Gonzaga in Washington, D.C., announced on social media Monday that he has narrowed his college choices to defending national champion LSU, Oklahoma and Maryland. The Nittany Lions and Clemson fell off of Williams' list.
PSU's omission from Williams' finalists was not surprising. Just last week, four-star QB recruit Christian Veilleux committed to the Lions. According to a report from 247Sports, Veilleux wanted assurances from PSU that he would be the Lions' only QB recruit in the 2021 recruiting class.
"I want to be the one and only," Veilleux told 247Sports. "I don't think it's a good mixture to bring two quarterbacks into one class and I made that clear to the staff — if you're gonna recruit me, it's me and only me."
The 6-foot-3 Veilleux was born in Canada and moved to Potomac, Maryland, to play his high school ball. Rivals lists him as the No. 10 pro-style quarterback in the class. Clemson, Duke, Arizona State and Tennessee were among the schools vying for Veilleux.
Williams, however, is considered a more highly prized prospect, and now just three teams remain in the running for his services.
“I really feel like those schools are the best schools for me overall, not just for football,” Williams wrote in a blog for Sports Illustrated. “I really feel like those schools can provide me the best opportunity academically and with my football career with the connections I’ve built with the coaches, the fans and the connection my parents and everybody has built with the coaches. The feel with all of those places, it just feels right.”
Williams, who said he’s been working out with Calvert Hall quarterback Noah Brannock, is ranked the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback and No. 6 overall player in the 247 Sports Composite. The 6-foot-2, 209-pound prospect threw 19 touchdown passes and rushed for 18 scores as a junior.
“We had a plan, we had spreadsheets and we worked that plan all the way down to the schools we’re at and they were all within one point of each other,” Williams’ father Carl told 247 Sports, noting the family’s relationship with Terps coach Mike Locksley and offensive coordinator Scottie Montgomery. “Now it gets to the intangibles.”
While 247 Sports’ Crystal Ball prediction leans heavily toward Oklahoma, former five-star quarterback Spencer Rattler is expected to be the starter for the Sooners, who have produced NFL draft picks Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts in the past three seasons under coach Lincoln Riley.
At LSU, Myles Brennan is the expected heir to Joe Burrow, who was recently taken No. 1 overall in the NFL draft after a record-setting year for the Tigers.
Maryland’s depth chart is less clear, with graduate transfer Josh Jackson and redshirt sophomore Lance Legendre likely competing for the starting job in 2020 after Tyrrell Pigrome and Max Bortenschalger decided to transfer and Tyler DeSue announced his retirement from football.
The Terps are coming off a 3-9 season (1-8 Big Ten) in Locksley’s return to College Park, but that hasn’t stopped the program from making strides in recruiting. Maryland flipped five-star St. John’s (D.C.) receiver Rakim Jarrett from LSU to help solidify the nation’s 31st-ranked class in 2020. With 11 commits, the Terps’ 2021 class is ranked 15th nationally and sixth in the Big Ten, headlined by four-star Quince Orchard defensive end Demeioun Robinson.