Caleb Williams, Bears

Caleb Williams, Bears


Quarterback Caleb Williams of the Chicago Bears.

The Chicago Bears are doing everything they can to make their new quarterback Caleb Williams feel at home, including adding his closest friend to the team.

Aaron Leming of 247 Sports and SB Nation’s Windy City Gridiron reported on Tuesday, April 30, that the Bears have signed Williams’ “best friend,” wide receiver John Jackson III.

“As TJ Houshmandzadeh said on @WaddleandSilvy, the #Bears signed Caleb Williams’ best friend as a UDFA [undrafted free agent],” Leming posted to X.

Details on Jackson’s deal with the Bears were not immediately available.

Caleb Williams, John Jackson III Played at USC Together

Bears Top 30 Visit Tracker 2024 NFL Draft Caleb Williams

GettyFormer USC quarterback Caleb Williams is now a member of the Chicago Bears, as is his former Trojan teammate wide receiver John Jackson III.

Jackson and Williams had one overlapping year at USC in 2022. That was Williams’ Heisman Trophy-winning season and first year in Los Angeles, while it was Jackson’s third campaign as a member of the Trojans.

Jackson made just 1 reception for 3 yards that season, and tallied just 5 catches for a total of 42 yards across his time with USC, per Football Reference. The wideout left for Nevada in 2023, where he appeared in 12 games and caught 35 passes for 267 receiving yards. Jackson never scored a touchdown at the collegiate level.

Meanwhile, Williams stuck around USC for his third college campaign (second there after one year at Oklahoma) and ended up in Chicago as the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft.

Jackson will now compete over the coming months for a spot on a roster that is stacked at the receiver position with players like DJ Moore, Keenan Allen and rookie/No. 9 overall pick in 2024 out of Washington Rome Odunze.

Caleb Williams, Rome Odunze Forging Friendship as Careers Begin With Bears

Rome Odunze, Bears

GettyWide receiver Rome Odunze of the Chicago Bears.

Odunze and Williams also appear to be growing into fast friends, as the two worked out together ahead of the draft then went viral across several social media posts when they found out they were on the same plane to the draft in Detroit last weekend.

Williams was also clearly revved up backstage after the Bears announced they had picked Odunze at No. 9.

“We got our guy,” Williams said.

The former USC quarterback is entering the league with perhaps one of the best supporting casts of skill players any No. 1 pick at the position has ever had walking into his first year. Aside from Odunze, Moore and Allen — arguably the best trio of receivers in the NFL, assuming Odunze pans out — Williams will also throw to tight end Cole Kmet and dual-threat running back/Pro Bowler D’Andre Swift, who Chicago signed in free agency.

The Bears’ offensive line is mediocre, finishing last year ranked 19th overall, per Pro Football Focus (PFF). However, there is reason for optimism that the group will improve in 2024 and beyond.

“Key players Braxton Jones, Teven Jenkins and Nate Davis all missed time early in the season, which took a toll on the Bears’ offensive line,” Zoltán Buday of PFF wrote on January 10. “Once the young group was at full strength, it flashed enough promise to make Bears fans optimistic about the future.”

Chicago also added left tackle Kiran Amegadjie in the third round of last weekend’s draft (No. 75 overall) after using the No. 10 selection in the 2023 first round to pick starting right tackle Darnell Wright.

Max Dible covers the NFL, NBA and MLB for, with a focus on the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns and Golden State Warriors. He covered local and statewide news as a reporter for West Hawaii Today and served as news director for and Pacific Media Group’s family of Big Island radio stations before joining Heavy. More about Max Dible

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