USC Trojans sophomore quarterback Caleb Williams earned some high praise from an anonymous scout who spoke to LA Times staff writer Sam Farmer in a Thursday interview on Trojan football’s matchup with UCLA, enough to consider him a top prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft.

“It’s kind of hard not to notice him,” the scout said. “He would probably have been the top quarterback prospect last year, and this year he might be the top one as well. So he could be next year.

“He’s got a big arm, he’s athletic, he’s fairly accurate. He can throw on the move. I’m excited to study him when he actually comes out.”

Caleb Williams, who followed now-Trojans head football coach Lincoln Riley from the Oklahoma Sooners to earn a starting spot on USC’s roster after the duo led one of the most explosive offenses in the Big 12 last year, leading the conference with 63 touchdowns, 508 total points and 39.1 points per game.

With the rise of more mobile NFL quarterbacks in Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Buffalo’s Josh Allen, as well as the explosion of rushing potential from young signal callers like Chicago’s Justin Fields, athletic quarterbacks like Caleb Williams who can “move off the spot” are more prevalent than ever before in professional football and a much-needed addition for any team in the NFL draft.

“I think the transition, not just for him but a lot of these young quarterbacks coming out, is going to be hearing the play coming in on your headset, regurgitating the whole play in the huddle — these guys don’t even huddle — and then making the pre-snap reads on your own as opposed to getting it signaled in from the sideline,” the scout said. “That just takes these guys some time.”

The Trojans football team will kick off against UCLA at 5 p.m. PST this Saturday in the Rose Bowl. The game will be broadcasted on Fox.