Caleb Williams: Wisconsin HC Paul Chryst addresses QB transfer rumors

The Caleb Williams-to-Wisconsin rumors ran wild on social media earlier this winter before he ultimately decided on the USC Trojans, which was expected all along. During his spring practice press conference on Monday, Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Chryst told reporters he never spoke with Williams throughout the entire process.

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The rumors started as just that with random Twitter accounts claiming sources, but the possibility of the Oklahoma Sooners transfer quarterback heading to Madison picked up steam when major college football websites started to report on it and even predicting Williams to land with the Badgers.

The obvious connection was Wisconsin’s new offensive coordinator Bobby Engram, who is close with the Williams family, but he followed head coach Lincoln Riley to USC.

The Badgers will roll into spring practice this week with Graham Mertz heading into his third season as the team’s starting quarterback. He started all 13 games in 2021 and completed 59.5% of his passes for 1,958 yards with 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. In 22 games in his career, Mertz completed 296 of 487 (60.8%) of his passes for 3,269 yards with 19 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

“I never personally spoke with Caleb and told Graham such. He understands, and that’s the world that we’re in right now.” ~ Paul Chryst

Other scholarship quarterbacks on the roster include Chase Wolf, Deacon Hill and incoming true freshman Myles Burkett. The Badgers will have a new coach overseeing the quarterback position for the third year in a row with Engram taking that role over from Chryst, and Wisconsin will need to replace a ton of production from the pass catcher positions.

Wisconsin is coming off a 9-4 season capped off by a victory in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Quick slant

You won’t find a whole lot of newsworthy items coming out of a Chryst press conference, but the Badgers apparently did not come all that close to adding Williams despite the buzz that possibility created. Outside of an injury, Mertz will be the Badgers starting quarterback in 2022 without a capable replacement on the roster unless there is a surprise addition from the transfer portal this offseason. Badger fans would’ve loved the possibility of landing the best transfer portal quarterback in the country, but they should still be among the favorites to win the Big Ten West. Wisconsin will need a much better performance out of its passing game this fall to get back to Indianapolis. Meanwhile, Riley landed a very important piece to the future of the USC roster as he looks to turn the Trojans around.

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