National Football League
Caleb Williams crashes former USC teammate Brenden Rice's combine presser
National Football League

Caleb Williams crashes former USC teammate Brenden Rice's combine presser

Published Mar. 1, 2024 2:34 p.m. ET

Brenden Rice got an unexpected visitor at his Friday press conference at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine — his former quarterback at USC, Caleb Williams.

Williams, who's the heavy favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, had a very important two-part question for Rice, one of his favorite targets during the duo's two seasons together with the Trojans.

"How does it feel to be Jerry Rice's son?" Williams asked.

"It feels even better than being teammates with Caleb Williams," a grinning Rice responded.


The interaction was playful, but Williams was not joking — Brenden Rice really is the son of the Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver and San Francisco 49ers legend. Jerry attended several USC games over the past two college football seasons to support his son.

Williams' second question had to do with Brenden Rice's draft status — not in the upcoming NFL Draft, but on fantasy football teams next season. 

"Why should they draft you as a fantasy player?" WIlliams said jokingly. "Should you be a WR1, or should you be the flex player?"

"I should be WR1, obviously," Rice responded amid chuckles. "I mean, me and you, what were we at, 45 catches and 12 touchdowns? I had a pretty damn good quarterback."

Rice also has a pretty good memory. He did in fact record 45 catches and a team-high 12 TDs from Williams in 2023 to go along with 791 receiving yards. 

It's also a full-circle moment for Williams and Rice as friends. Days before their USC debuts in 2022, after they both transferred to the Trojans, Rice crashed one of Williams' media scrums with a question about what "The No. 1 quarterback in the nation" was looking forward to about the game day atmosphere at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

"I really can't wait to get out there and make sure everybody sees what we've been working on," Williams said then.

That question and answer proved to be prophetic. With Rice as one of his favorite targets, Williams went on to win the 2022 Heisman Trophy before further furnishing his draft stock despite a down overall year for the Trojans in 2023.

As for Rice's NFL prospects, Jerry's son is a big, physical wide receiver who earned a second-round grade in FOX Sports NFL Draft analyst Rob Rang's initial evaluations.

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