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There are instances in life when you don’t get a chance to redeem yourself, no matter if that’s fair or not. So South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler, who transferred from Oklahoma, isn’t taking a moment for granted. After battling his way through spring practice, Rattler has earned the trust of head coach Shane Beamer and the rest of this coaching staff.
The Gamecocks were already in a weird quarterback situation, having played five different guys at the position in 2021. After a few departures, Shane Beamer knew he needed to make a splash and find the right guy to run this offense. So with Spencer Rattler in the boat and Luke Doty returning, everything seemed to line up for South Carolina this spring.
The Oklahoma transfer is different. He has the talent to be successful, but he needs an offensive package that showcases his skill. Last season, Oklahoma hesitated to let Rattler make plays with his feet. This won’t be the case for Shane Beamer, who sees a quarterback who can make plays on the run, especially getting out of the pocket.
“Spencer, to me, doesn’t get enough credit for how athletic he is. They didn’t run him at Oklahoma last year like they did with Jalen Hurts. Spencer is athletic enough where he can run. He is not going to be a running quarterback, but certainly he can be a threat running the football.”
It might look a bit crowded, but the quarterback room is now filled with guys who possess different strengths and weaknesses. Shane Beamer has seen these guys grow together over the last few months and lean on each other for advice.
“That quarterback room is in a really good place right now. Colten and Braden and then Luke is still young. Spencer has been great for all of those guys. Luke has been great for Spencer as well. It is a great connection in there. Then to have Zeb in there. It is a good group, and I am proud of those guys how they have handled themselves this spring.”
But no matter what Spencer did this spring, how things played out at Oklahoma will be a talking point that he can’t ignore. There are many reasons why things didn’t work out in Norman, but Spencer wants to be where he is wanted, something it sounds like he didn’t feel until he transferred to Columbia.
“A lot of guys don’t get another chance, to start over where they’re really wanted,” Rattler told ESPN. “I was just happy to get away from a toxic situation and get somewhere new. Anywhere was going to be better, and I found the right place.”
But South Carolina also runs a different type of offense as well, which gives him a good shot at extending his career into the NFL. Spencer feels comfortable with what they are doing in Columbia, compared to the offense at Oklahoma.
“Just two different offenses,” Rattler said. “Neither is right or wrong. One’s an air raid type style offense, and one’s like a balance type system. We’ll run the ball, we’ll get it under center and just doing stuff like NFL teams do. So, that was a big factor for me in coming here. Knowing that could prepare me for the next level possibly. That was a big decision for me.”
Now comes the true test for Spencer. He must carry over what he did in the spring and prepare this summer for another battle in fall camp. More than likely, Rattler will be the starting quarterback when the Gamecocks take on Georgia State in the season opener. But he’s not taking a day in Columbia for granted, even as he tries hard to put his time at Oklahoma in the rearview mirror.
Shane Beamer has given him a second chance, and I don’t see Rattler messing up this opportunity.