April 24, 2024

2023 SEC Media Days: Shaped by adversity, South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler ready to reach full potential

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler into the college football a scene with more media attention than most quarterbacks get in a lifetime. He was ranked as the best pro-style passer in the Class of 2019 and the star of the documentary series “QB1: Beyond the Lights”.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned from there. Rattler had an up-and-down career as the starter at Oklahoma and became a critical lighting rod at a program that expects elite quarterback play. After eventually replacing Caleb Williams, Rattler transferred to South Carolina hoping a change of scenery would revive his career.

His tenure with the Gamecocks would usher in more struggles, however. Rattler threw more interceptions (nine) than touchdowns (eight) through the first 10 games of his junior year and hit an all-time low in a 38-6 loss to Florida when the Gamecocks didn’t score a touchdown.

But Gamecocks coach Shane Beamer, whose relationship with Rattler dates back to their time together at Oklahoma when Beamer was an assistant, knew his quarterback could weather the storm.

“Forget about what he did on the field — I knew what kind of person Spencer was,” Beamer said at SEC Media Days. “It wasn’t like I was bringing in a guy to play quarterback that I didn’t know. I spent two years with him at Oklahoma, and a little longer if you count the recruiting process. He was committed when I got there, but I was with him for two seasons. I knew the type of person he was. He was dealing with the adversity before at Oklahoma. It wasn’t like it was all about the past or a sudden loss 2, it was like he was all down in the first place stuff. He was 21 the first time he went through stuff.”

After the Florida game when Rattler flipped the switch. The Gamecocks simplified their offensive scheme and adapted more to the strengths of their quarterbacks. The results were immediate. Rattler threw six touchdown passes in the 63-38 win over then-No. 6 Tennessee and followed that up with two more in a 31-30 win over rival Clemson. In his last three games, Rattler threw 10 interceptions on three picks.

“We had a lot of personnel groups in that game in Florida,” Rattler said at SEC Media Days. “Guys were a little confused. We are limited but some things, things are easier and we played to our strengths.”

That opened Beamer’s eyes; perhaps not coincidentally, he changed offensive coordinator from Marcus Satterfield to Dowell Loggains in the offseason.

” He [Rattler] he played great down the stretch for a lot of reasons,” Beamer said. “But I think we did a great job as coaches to take away the clutter in his mind and just let him play. That’s what we need to do to do a better job this year is to eliminate the congestion, let him play and be more consistent offensively.”

Now Rattler is back in the spotlight as a superstar in an SEC that lacks established talent under center. With unwavering confidence in his head coach, the future looks bright for Rattler heading into the season. Rattler’s maturity and a change in offensive coordinator have elevated South Carolina into the discussion as Georgia’s biggest threat in the SEC East. The reigning back-to-back champions can be challenged “when you have a quarterback who gives you a chance,” Beamer said. “We have that quarterback and we have great leadership.”

Rattler found a new opportunity when he moved to South Carolina. If things fall into place, he could turn that opportunity into the success many thought he would achieve as a hot shot prospect.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *