Caleb Williams nails, dress, phone, & more: How USC QB shrugs off ‘cavemen’ haters as NFL career begins

Caleb Williams is putting the “generation” in generational talent. 

Members of Gen Z are known to beat to their own drum, and their views often challenge the status quo. It can be jarring for some to see such a shift in those societal norms, and a player like Williams is sure to be a divisive topic well beyond draft night.

The former USC quarterback will hear his name called first in the 2024 NFL Draft and be a player that Bears fans hope can stabilize a franchise that desperately needs it.

People land all over the spectrum when discussing Williams’ future in the NFL. Some call him a generational talent. Others land on “undraftable” after seeing how he carries himself on and off the field.

The good news is that this debate is one that can be settled on the football field. Either way, Williams isn’t apologizing for being himself — whether you like it or not. 

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Caleb Williams nails

The world of fashion is an endless place of possibilities. Needless to say, we’ve come a long way from the traditional suit and tie. People all over the world can dress in whatever they like, whenever they like. Want to wear pajamas in a Walmart? Go for it. Formal attire at McDonald’s? Have at it.

Williams is testing the limits of those new realities, especially in comparison to his soon-to-be NFL colleagues.

He’s made headlines in the past for his painted nails, but he set social media ablaze when he showed up to watch the USC women’s basketball team during March Madness. 

The former Heisman Trophy winner was sporting his painted nails along with a pink phone and lipstick. While reactions were all over the place, it wasn’t the first time we’ve seen the quarterback make a controversial choice with his look.

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Caleb Williams dress

The USC star also had people talking when he was photographed in a dress as part of a story for GQ Magazine in September 2023. Just as with the other instances, social media had plenty to say about the look.

Despite the criticism, Williams has been selective in how he’s chosen to fire back.

Caleb Williams responds to haters

Gavin Morris, USC’s director of player relations and assistant athletic director, posted a video with Williams on X, formerly Twitter, responding to some of the criticism following the nails and phone case situation.

“The wallet’s white, the phone is pink, the case is clear,” Williams said.

“What the fingernails look like?” Morris asked.

“Nails are clear,” Williams said, holding up his hand. “Lips are pink. Your girl love ’em.”

This isn’t anything new for Williams, who explained to former USC quarterback Matt Leinhart in 2022 why he chooses to do it. 

“It started, I would say, three years ago,” Williams said. “It was my last year of high school. My mom does nails. Let’s just start it off there. She’s done it my whole life. It’s just kind of always been around me. Nobody else does it. I just kinda like to do new things.”

“You gotta keep your hands fresh,” Williams continued. “This is where all the gold comes from.”

While many have questioned how the quarterback will be received in an NFL locker room, others don’t see the issue. Former NFL QB and current ESPN analyst Robert Griffin III said to let Williams be himself.

Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd said the “media is giving oxygen to lonely people on Reddit boards,” adding that 95 percent of fans and zero percent of NFL general managers don’t care about how Williams portrays himself. 

NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt complained about “caveman Twitter” and how the whole situation irked him, listing the various commonly held beliefs and disputing them. 

Luckily for Williams, the money is still green and it all counts the same. He’ll have plenty of that going forward to make whatever fashion statements he wants. As for everyone else, no one will care — especially the Bears and their fans — if the results on the field start resulting in more wins than Chicago is used to. 

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