Alumni Caleb Williams '21 and Olu Fashanu '20 Selected in First Round of NFL Draft

On Thursday, April 25, two Gonzaga alumni made history as they became the highest selections ever for high school teammates in the same NFL draft. Caleb Williams of the Gonzaga Class of 2021, who played for the University of Southern California and was the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner, was selected first overall by the Chicago Bears while Olu Fashanu, who graduated from Gonzaga in 2020 and went on to play at Penn State University, was selected 11th overall by the New York Jets.

Father Joseph E. Lingan, the President of Gonzaga and also an alumnus of the school from the Class of 1975, said: “On behalf of everyone at Gonzaga College High School, I am excited to offer my sincere congratulations to both Caleb Williams and Olu Fashanu on their selection in tonight's NFL draft. Teammates and leaders during their playing days here at Gonzaga, Caleb and Olu have worked hard to achieve this accomplishment. 
We also offer our congratulations to both of the young men's parents. We appreciate that the Williams and Fashanu families chose to send their sons to Gonzaga. They did so knowing and valuing everything that a Gonzaga education offers – rigorous academics, a deep tradition of faith and service, a strong and instructional athletic and extracurricular program, and a tremendous spirit and sense of community rooted in Ignatian values.
Congratulations, Caleb and Olu! A large community of Gonzaga alumni and fans will be cheering both of you on in your next step. As Gonzaga Eagles, we hope you continue to Fly High!”

In addition to being the highest selections for high school teammates in the same draft, this is also the first time that the same high school had both the first overall pick as well as a second first round pick in the same year. 

Gonzaga Head Football Coach Randy Trivers reflected on how Caleb and Olu complemented each other as teammates. “While at Gonzaga, Caleb made magic happen, combining an exceptionally strong and accurate arm with swift and elusive feet. However, many of Caleb's magical moments would not have been possible without Olu's explosive power, physicality, agility and technical skill – all of which protected and paved the way for Caleb to dazzle the crowd."  
Coach Trivers went on: "Although they possess different skill-sets, they are actually similar in a few ways.  Both Olu and Caleb are faithful and loving human beings. They prioritize God and family foundationally. And they courageously accept the inevitable challenges of the gridiron as well as those that surface in life. We are immensely proud of these two Gonzaga men. They have adorned certain colors as collegiate competitors and now will represent a new city, proudly waving their flag displaying those colors. I'm certain, however, that they will continue to have a touch of Gonzaga purple in their hearts as they lovingly and faithfully embrace their new franchises and fans.”

Mr. Terry Kernan, Gonzaga's Athletic Director and an alumnus from the Class of 2008 got to know both of the young men during their days as students on Eye Street as one of Olu’s Freshman Football coaches and one of Caleb’s math teachers. “Hardworking, conscientious leaders, they have set an extraordinary example for our current students to emulate – and their work in the community as 'men for others' is just as impressive as their success on the field," he says. "As a Gonzaga alumnus, I couldn't be more proud that these two outstanding young men represent our school in such a positive way. On behalf of all the coaches of the Gonzaga Athletic Department, congratulations Caleb and Olu! You will both forever be Gonzaga Eagles!”
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