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Caleb Williams gets $1 million NIL offer to play at Eastern Michigan from ex-NFL QB Charlie Batch

·3 min read

Recruiters could use the Ypsilanti Heritage Automotive Museum or the city's proximity to Ann Arbor and Detroit to try and convince a five-star athlete to play for Eastern Michigan football.

Or, in the age of name, image and likeness compensation, a person (of certain means) could use $1 million to convince a star athlete to be an Eagle.

Former EMU standout and Super Bowl champion Charlie Batch chose the latter Wednesday while trying to recruit Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams to Ypsi.

The verified Twitter account for Batch, who played quarterback for the Detroit Lions before his long run as a Pittsburgh Steelers backup, tagged the verified handle for Williams, who is in the transfer portal, asking if he had thought about playing at EMU:

Batch said GameAbove Capital, an investment firm he works with, would pay Williams $1 million for one season with the Eagles. Williams led a 21-point comeback Oct. 9 against rival Texas and took over as the Sooners' starter, passing for 1,912 yards, 21 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also rushed for 442 yards and six touchdowns.

Oklahoma finished 11-2 (7-2 in the Big 12) and Williams threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns Dec. 29 in an Alamo Bowl win vs. Oregon.

Caleb Williams received a $1 million NIL offer to play at Eastern Michigan.
Caleb Williams received a $1 million NIL offer to play at Eastern Michigan.

But Williams, a freshman who was one of the top recruits in the 2021 class, announced plans to enter the transfer portal in the wake of coach Lincoln Riley's departure to USC.

He said in a statement he would consider returning to Oklahoma. He did not, however, list the Mid-American Conference as his dream home.

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Batch, one of the best quarterbacks in EMU history from 1994-97, is hoping to change that with a couple of commas. He threw for 7,592 yards as an Eagle and ended his career as the school leader in single-season passing yards and touchdowns and career passing yards and touchdowns (many of those records have since been broken). The Lions drafted Batch in the second round in 1998; he started in Detroit for a couple seasons before joining the Pittsburgh Steelers and winning Super Bowl XL (at Ford Field) and Super Bowl XLIII as a backup.

2000: Lions quarterback Charlie Batch kneels on the sideline dejected after the Bears kicked the winning field goal with 2 seconds left at the Silverdome. The 23-20 loss in the season finale eliminated the Lions from the playoffs.
2000: Lions quarterback Charlie Batch kneels on the sideline dejected after the Bears kicked the winning field goal with 2 seconds left at the Silverdome. The 23-20 loss in the season finale eliminated the Lions from the playoffs.

It's not just money that may attract Williams. EMU is experiencing about as much success as it ever has, winning six or more games in three of the past four years — something that hasn't been done since the late 1980s. The Eagles have reached four bowl games in the last six years. It may not sound like much but this is a program that averaged about four wins a season between 1990 and 2013, the last year before head coach Chris Creighton took over.

According to the CapStone Holdings website, Batch serves as senior vice president of strategic investments for the firm. CapStone is the parent company for GameAbove, which helps Eagles student-athletes as well as EMU educational programs.

GameAbove recently entered into a naming rights deal with EMU — which also honored famed Eagles basketball player George Gervin — turning the EMU Convocation Center into the George Gervin GameAbove Center.

NIL deals have been popular in Michigan, with United Wholesale Mortgage agreeing to a deal with Michigan State football and men's basketball players, MSU women's basketball players gaining NIL agreements and Michigan football and men's basketball players reaping those benefits as well.

Follow the Free Press on Facebook and Twitter for more news. Tyler Davis can be contacted at tjdavis@freepress.com or on Twitter @TDavisFreep.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Caleb Williams gets $1M NIL offer to transfer to Eastern Michigan