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There were many questions when Spencer Rattler announced he would transfer to South Carolina, after a crazy season at Oklahoma. The former starter for the Sooners had his struggles, but the Gamecocks presented him a fresh start.
We all remember the scrutiny that Rattler went through in Norman. He entered the season with so much hype around him. The Heisman watch was already on before he took his first snap in 2021, so many wondered what went so wrong over the next few months. But now Rattler has a new lease on life with Shane Beamer at South Carolina, and he’s hoping to take full advantage of the opportunity.
Moving from one style of offense to another can be difficult for some players, but it sounds as though Rattler has taken the new approach in stride. Shane Beamer and Marcus Satterfield in Columbia have helped ease the transition for the transfer QB.
“There’s definitely a lot of new stuff I am learning. Personally, I am having a great time doing it. I am getting all the information and running the plays as well as commanding the offense, commanding the huddle. So I feel really comfortable right now, but there’s always those tweaks you gotta do for different styles of quarterbacks. So we’re definitely adding little tweaks that I am comfortable with. That’s why I love Coach Satterfield and Beamer, because they are always open to input.”
Competing with Luke Doty in spring practice has been and will be beneficial for both guys, and the relationship they are building on and off the field will only help this football program going forward. As Doty returns to 100% health after an injury last season, the battle for a starting job becomes that much bigger over the next few months. There are certain drills that Luke cannot participate in right now, but that hasn’t taken any of the joy away from Luke, knowing how far he has come since his injury.
“Putting cleats back on, no boot on my foot, not rolling around on a scooter. Thinking back to all those things, it’s a little emotional. But I’m a fighter. I’m going to bet on myself, no matter what, and that’s what I did.”
Doty has welcomed Rattler to campus, knowing that even though they’re competing against one another, all of the QBs need to be on the same page. So both of them feeding off each other has its benefits, especially when they are sharing knowledge or helping to improve their overall game, on and off the field.
“I think you just be natural and authentic. We all have a good time when we’re all hanging out in the QB room, workouts, anything. We all lift together, so it’s just like a natural feel. We’re all competing, of course, but we’re trying to help each other and make each other better. If I have any tips for the younger guys, I am going to give it to them and try to help improve their game and vice versa…We’re all very close and have a good time on the field,” said Rattler.
While the competition continues, the work that Spencer has put into himself off the field has not been lost on anyone around the program. Several people around the football team say they see a more mature young man who is willing to learn. Though things might have gone sideways last season at Oklahoma, Rattler has brought a new self-awareness with him to the field and inside the building in Columbia.
Even though he might be wearing a different uniform and playing against different teams, we’re still going to get the same type of competitor who tries to improve his game every day. He’s working to keep the same mindset but be willing to take advice given to him from the staff.
When asked what he feels is different right now, compared to last season with so much anticipation and hype, Rattler said the maturity that comes with age and experience has been key.
“I just feel more mature on the field with my preparation and how I am going about on things I want to improve in my game. All different types of areas, but I am still the same me, same mindset, confident, ready to attack and that’s been my mindset the first three or four practices and going to be my mindset going forward.”
It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next five months, but if Rattler goes out and continues to lead by example and learn from past mistakes, he’ll be the starting quarterback come the season opener.
The one thing Spencer is not taking for granted is the opportunity to right some of the wrongs of his collegiate career. This should excite South Carolina fans.