When Taulia Tagovailoa transferred from Alabama to Maryland football, it seemed coach Mike Locksley’s pursuit of another much-heralded quarterback prospect — five-star Caleb Williams, the top-rated signal caller in the country — had, for all intents and purposes, ended.
On Saturday, it became official. Williams committed to Oklahoma, he announced on Twitter.
Prior to Tagovailoa’s commitment, Williams seemed poised to become the crown jewel of the Terps’ 2021 recruiting class — one that ranks as the 16th-best in the country, per 247Sports.
A 6-foot-2, 209-pound dual-threat option, Williams starred at nearby Gonzaga High School, leading the Eagles to an 8-3 record last campaign.
The prospect of Williams’ commitment was enticing, particularly following Maryland’s struggles under center in Locksley’s first season. The Terps ranked No. 114 in the nation in passing yards per game. Meanwhile, Josh Jackson and Tyrrell Pigrome combined for a meager 15 touchdowns — eight of which came in the opening two games of the season.
The quarterback woes compiled as Locksley’s squad failed to capitalize on a 2-0 start, finishing the season with a 3-9 record.
With Pigrome’s transfer to Western Kentucky and backup Tyler DeSue’s retirement, the Terps looked especially thin at quarterback — Jackson and Lance Legendre were the only scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. However, Tagovailoa’s arrival — and the possibility of a potential waiver allowing him to play immediately — has breathed life into a new-look Maryland.
Williams will not be a part of that. His commitment to the Sooners gives him an opportunity to compete for trophies Maryland can only aspire for at the moment.
But for Locksley and the Terps, the goal remains the same: cultivate talent at the position in an effort to push themselves up the Big Ten standings.