Spencer Rattler #7 of the South Carolina Gamecocks heads to the locker room before the start of a game against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
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Spencer Rattler is Making Sure He Goes Out With a Bang


When most people think about quarterback Spencer Rattler, they usually think about the guy who was benched at Oklahoma and left after freshman Caleb Williams took over. While his collegiate career wasn't as glamorous as people wanted, Rattler isn't heading out of the college football limelight silently.

Since leaving Oklahoma, the Phoenix, Arizona, native has played for the South Carolina Gamecocks. Compared to some other SEC quarterbacks, Rattler has been holding his own, and it's largely gone unnoticed. With 314 attempts for 210 completions, 2,420 yards and 14 touchdowns in such a competitive conference, Rattler should have gotten his flowers much sooner. It wasn't until the South Carolina-Tennessee game that the spotlight finally shined on Rattler. 

From QB1 to the Bench and Transfer Portal

 Quarterback Spencer Rattler #7 of the Oklahoma Sooners throws during warm ups before the game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium

Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images

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For those who aren't familiar with Rattler's story, here's a condensed version of how he went from Heisman contender to transfer in less than a year. 

When Rattler was recruited by Oklahoma, he was a five-star recruit and the only quarterback from Arizona to throw over 11,000 yards during his high school career. Rattler's bright future was only encouraged with his performance prior to the 2021 season, and he was even a frontrunner during the preseason Heisman winner odds and considered to be a top 5 pick in the NFL Draft. 

However, during the 2021 Red River Showdown, Rattler was benched, and Williams came in following two turnovers that resulted in Texas holding a 28-7 lead early on. Afterward, the media firestorm from now-former head coach Lincoln Riley refusing to name a starting quarterback finally came to a close after he officially announced Williams would be taking the helm.

Once the news broke, it was only a matter of where Rattler would end up after the 2021 season concluded. After much speculation, it seemed that Rattler would end up in maroon and black as South Carolina's new starting quarterback under second-year head coach Shane Beamer. Coincidentally enough, the "toxic situation" that Rattler got himself out of also saw Riley and Williams leave Norman, Oklahoma, for USC during the same period.


Now that Rattler is at South Carolina, he has looked to redeem himself and prove that his talent was wasted while at Oklahoma -- and after Week 12's South Carolina-Tennessee matchup, it seems he did just that. 

Turning Tennessee Into 'No. 10-essee' 

South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Spencer Rattler prepares to make a pass during the third quarter of a college football game between the Tennessee Volunteers and South Carolina Gamecocks

Photo by Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Gamecocks came into the matchup 22-point underdogs against the Volunteers. With Tennessee having one of the best seasons in program history and maintaining a No. 5 ranking in the AP Top 25 Poll, it's no surprise that everyone expected the Vols to run over South Carolina. However, Rattler and the crew had other ideas. 

Coming into the game, there were questions about whether Rattler should even start. He entered the week with nine interceptions and eight touchdowns while only averaging 198 passing yards per game. It seemed as though this game would be an uphill battle for the SEC's 11th-ranked offense, but this wasn't the case.

By consistently making passes in slim windows, running when a window opened and even catching a touchdown in the end zone, Rattler made his mark to knock the Vols out of College Football Playoff contention. The 63 points put up by the Gamecocks were the most in program history, beating the Volunteers' 62-37 loss against Florida in 1995. After the loss, Tennessee dropped from No. 5 to No. 10, with social media dubbing the team "10-essee." While the future of the Volunteers' playoff chances is up in the air, Rattler can rest a little easier knowing that he was the one who made it happen. 


Rattled But Still Standing

pencer Rattler #7 of the South Carolina Gamecocks throws a pass away in the end zone

Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Rattler's possible future in the NFL is still extremely uncertain. 

Looking at where he was 12 months ago, Rattler isn't the same draft prospect he once was. The former projected top 2 draft pick now finds himself in a position where he could still go pro, but just not with the allure he once had. Several projections have the quarterback not being drafted at all and settling as an undrafted free agent or third-round pick at best.

There's no doubt that Rattler is a talented player, but his fall from grace is a story that won't go away anytime soon. Only time will tell if his days of glory were left behind in Norman.

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