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Caleb Williams: Declaring for 2024 NFL Draft 'a game-time decision'

Katelyn Mulcahy / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Caleb Williams is the odds-on favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, but the USC quarterback isn't quite ready to officially close the door on his college career.

Williams said declaring for the NFL will be "a game-time decision," according to the Los Angeles Times' Ryan Kartje.

Prospects have until Jan. 15 to announce their decision.

Players considered near-locks to be taken first overall rarely return for another season, though the college landscape has changed dramatically due to name, image, and likeness deals.

Andrew Luck was the last consensus top pick to return to school, and he ultimately went No. 1 the following year.

Williams' potential final season in college didn't go to plan. He fell short of winning a second straight Heisman Trophy, failing to match his production from 2022.

"I've never been in this situation, where I'm 7-5 and there are no playoff hopes at the end of the season," Williams said. "I'm dealing with it emotionally, dealing with it spiritually and physically. It's been one of the most important years I think I've had.

"It's tricky. I've had to have talks with Lincoln (Riley, USC's coach) - because obviously, I haven't been through it - or with my family members or people like that, just how to deal with this and lead, how to stay the same person I was before the season or after our first loss or second loss. So it was different. It was a learning process."

If the 22-year-old does declare, his main competition for the No. 1 spot will likely be UNC quarterback Drake Maye. Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison is the other player widely projected to be a top-two selection.

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