USC quarterback Caleb Williams has to navigate a ton of hype entering the 2023 season. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner is projected by many to become the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL draft, and he is considered by some to be one of the best prospects in NFL history.

With that in mind, some observers wonder whether and NFL teams might decide to tank and improve their chance of drafting Williams. When asked about the possibility of teams possibly trying to lose on purpose to acquire his rights, Williams deftly sidestepped the controversial topic. 

“It wasn’t any surprise or anything,” he told USA Today’s Tom Schad. “I work hard to try and be the best, so there’s no surprise (with) any of that, whatever they talk about on TV or social media. Not too pressing. Not bothered by it. … I’ve been working hard for many, many years to be in this position and (have) this opportunity, to maybe re-up on the Heisman and go get the golden trophy at the end in January in Houston and possibly go No. 1.”

In his first season at USC, Williams totaled 4,537 passing yards with 42 touchdown passes to just five interceptions. He added 382 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.