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Spencer Rattler Feeling ‘Refreshed’ At South Carolina

Last year wasn’t the most pleasant year of football for Spencer Rattler, who dealt with a range of emotions during his time in Norman, Oklahoma. He entered the season as the starter and a potential Heisman Trophy candidate, but then lost his job and decided to find a new home to carry on his dream of playing football.

After putting his name into the transfer portal, he found a home at South Carolina. He already had a relationship with head coach Shane Beamer, and his teammate from Oklahoma Austin Stogner will also be playing with him in Columbia. Once Spencer took the steps to make his way out of Norman, Beamer did what he could to have the talented quarterback play football in the SEC, and Spencer says he’s very happy with the change.

“I feel totally refreshed. Being at a new university, a great university like this. I am very comfortable here. Knowing coach Beamer, getting to know all these guys my first month up here. I made a great decision. I feel like the pressure is taken off a little bit. My main focus right now is starting over with my team after spring break and going on to spring ball.”

The big question about going through the recruiting process again was about finding the right situation for him, not just jumping on board with a traditional powerhouse school. Progress is certainly happening in the South Carolina football program after Beamer’s first year at the helm. The team finished the season winning three out of the final five games, including wins over Florida, Auburn and North Carolina.

Rattler took notice.

“Going through this recruiting process, Coach Beamer was a big indicator that South Carolina is doing something right. He is turning this program around and doing a great thing up here. I was very comfortable with making my decision. Also, knowing my tight end Austin Stogner would be coming with me. It just felt like a home feeling. I got on a Zoom visit with the whole staff, and we had a great talk. They impressed me a lot. I feel like I made the right choice.”

Rattler also pointed out that he felt like South Carolina is run like an NFL facility, which he said is completely different from how things are run at Oklahoma.

“I think it is run like an NFL type facility. A lot of people would be surprised, it is different than where I am coming from. I feel like it is more around the players, guys aren’t burnt out. Guys are enjoying their time in the facility, enjoying their time around the players and coaches. It is just a great feeling.”

One of the other key changes about South Carolina compared to Oklahoma is how they run the offense. The Gamecocks run the pro-style offense, which is different than what Rattler is used to, so getting comfortable with how OC and QB coach Marcus Satterfield wants to run different schemes is something he’s taking in stride. At Oklahoma, Spencer threw for 4,595 yards and 40 touchdowns and used his legs to score another 9 TDs. But he seems to have bought into the new system completely.

“The system definitely levels a pro-style system. I am learning a lot of new things every day. Terminology and verbiage that I didn’t know coming in. Coach Satterfield and Coach (Nick) Coleman have done a great job with me so far.

“I have learned probably more in a month than I have in my college career,” Rattler added. “With these pro-style systems and the film we are watching, I think it elevates everybody’s games on the team. Mentally and physically on the field.”

Speaking of being mentally prepared, Spencer has dealt with the narrative that he’s a bit of a diva. It all goes back to the Netflix show QB-1, which followed him around during his final year of high school before heading to Oklahoma. It never felt as if he escaped the persona that was portrayed during that show.

But Spencer understands there is nothing he can do except prove the doubters wrong on and off the field. He’s not the same guy he was at 17 years old, and he made that very clear on Wednesday.

“A lot of people seem to forget it is a reality TV show. At that time, I was 16-17 years old having fun with my buddies in high school. We all were our authentic self in high school. I think people around sports see that competition side come out of you in different ways. My character is definitely not portrayed well in that show. That is just how it was made. I am five or six years grown from that, and hopefully I have changed a little bit. I definitely have. I am a very competitive guy and also a very caring person. That is what I would have to say to those folks.”

Now the gun-slinging quarterback from Phoenix gets another opportunity to prove he can be one of the best quarterbacks in the country and play with the best in the SEC. It won’t be easy, as he still has to win the job over Luke Doty and he will definitely have people rooting for him to fail in the process. But he’s got a good group of people around him at South Carolina who will steer him down the path of success.

“I learned that I can accomplish a lot of great things with great guys around me. I had a great team at Oklahoma for my three years there. I learned a lot about my leadership skills, I feel like I improved in that area. I learned I can fight the adversity that is thrown my way. God has given me the talent to do my thing on the field and help the team I am on. Happy that I landed on my feet in Columbia, South Carolina and I can’t wait to get this ball rolling.”

It should be a fun year in the SEC at the quarterback position, at least from a talent standpoint.

Written by Trey Wallace

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