Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Oklahoma freshman WR Mario Williams becomes latest Sooners star player to enter transfer portal

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Mario Williams, a freshman All-American wide receiver for the Oklahoma Sooners, announced Tuesday that he will enter his name in the transfer portal and explore his options elsewhere. Williams is the latest in a wave of Sooners who have entered the transfer portal since former coach Lincoln Riley left the program to take over at USC. Brent Venables, former defensive coordinator at Clemson, took over the program after Riley left for Los Angeles.

“I’d like to start by thanking all of you for the support this season,” Williams wrote on Twitter. “Having the opportunity to play in ‘The Palace on the Prairie’ has created some amazing memories for me that I will cherish forever. I’d like to thank coach [Lincoln] Riley and [outside receivers] coach [Dennis] Simmons for giving me the chance to showcase my talents on one of the biggest stages in the nation. I’m grateful for my teammates and the relationships we’ve built, as well as the lessons I’ve learned on and off the field.”

Williams had 35 catches for 380 yards and four touchdowns in 2021. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound speedster from Plant City (Florida) High School was a four-star prospect and the No. 43 overall player in the 247Sports Class of 2021 Composite recruiting rankings. 

“I’d like to thank God for being with me every step of the way throughout my life and football journey,” he wrote. “Thank you to my family who provides constant support and guidance.”

He’s the second high-profile Sooners player in as many days to enter the transfer portal. Starting quarterback Caleb Williams announced on Monday that he will shop his services around the country, but left the door open to return to Norman, Oklahoma, if it makes sense for he and his family. Spencer Rattler, who was benched in favor of Williams during the season, was also in the portal before deciding to join coach Shane Beamer at South Carolina

It isn’t just quarterbacks who are bailing either. Jadon Haselwood, a former five-star prospect and the No. 4 overall player in the Class of 2019, left the program for Arkansas. Haselwood was the third-leading receiver for the Sooners in 2021 with 399 yards and six touchdowns.

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