Caleb Williams is one of the country’s top football players. A quarterback for the University of Southern California Trojans, the 21-year-old was awarded the Heisman Trophy last year. This distinction honored him as the most outstanding player in college football.


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Williams recently appeared in an ad for Dr Pepper’s Fansville campaign for this football season. The quarterback says he prefers Dr Pepper Strawberries & Cream and is seen getting a maroon and white “I Heart Dr Pepper” polish manicure.

“I think the nails thing kind of took everybody by surprise,” Williams told PEOPLE. “I’ve been doing it before college, but it took everybody by surprise, just because you don’t always see male athletes who play football paint their nails. But I think it’s just another way of expression.”

His mother Dayna, who is a former nail technician, is also featured in the ad. Williams credits his mother for a tradition he adopted before college – painting his nails before each game. 

“I thought it was a really awesome thing that we were able to do together,” she told the news outlet. “I really like all the things that he is able to do at this particular point in his life, not just the football piece of it, but just being able to do so much more.”

In addition to the commercial, Dr Pepper is also partnering with Williams’ foundation, Caleb Cares. The company “will partner with Caleb Cares through an activation that will be announced later this fall,” according to a press release. The 21-year-old’s foundation focuses on combating bullying, empowering the youth and raising awareness surrounding mental health.

On Aug. 30, Dr Pepper will also make “Fanicures” nail kits available for purchase on the company’s website. The Williams nail kit “gives fans what they need to express their fandom on all ten digits.” It will include two bottles of nail polish in the brand’s signature maroon and white colors, as well as college football-inspired nail décor.