Caleb Williams Demonstrates Unwavering Composure During NFL Combine Press Conference Amid Pestering Questions

Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

A large gaggle of reporters gathered around Caleb Williams‘ podium at the NFL scouting combine and they spared no time in questioning the presumptive 1st overall pick’s dedication to the combine process. The first question he received was,

“Are you afraid to compete? How do you respond to people saying that you’re worried to be compared side by side with your peers in medicals, measurements, and workouts? Are you afraid to be measured against those guys one on one? Is that why you’re not doing things [combine activities]?”

Williams’ answer was short, direct, and to the point, but handled with poise and generosity. “

“No. Not doing things was a decision made by me and my team. My family. That’s what it comes down to,” the Heisman Trophy winner responded politely and moved on to the next question.

The question was based on Williams’ recent denial to participate in medical exams from interested teams. Earlier he had also announced that he would not participate in any of the NFL Combine’s drills. The later move has been commonplace for athletes like Williams, who view their standing in the ensuing draft to be determined.

The former is unprecedented, but not one that hasn’t been criticized by other players. The NFL has gotten complaints from draft prospects over the years about the length and the redundancy of medical examinations.

Caleb Williams Changes Narrative About Media Relations

NCAA Football: Arizona at Southern California
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Later Williams was asked about his emotional reactions to losses, specifically referencing his emotional display after losing to the Washington Huskies. Caleb again responded in a thoughtful manner, even with a smile this time. “[It’s] not only winning the game but doing it with my teammates. So every time we lose, I feel like I let my teammates down.”

How Caleb Williams conducted himself flies in the face of how he has been perceived as aloof, mercurial, and difficult.

William’s demeanor amid the questions remained light and cordial throughout. He came across as smart, well-prepared, and with an air of effortlessness. His ease was on display when, offering a moment of levity, he approached, Brenden Rice’s podium, his former USC teammate, and posed as a reporter asking a rote question, “What’s it like being Jerry Rice’s son?”

NCAA Football: Southern California at Utah
Rob Gray-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports