Rattler: Former Heisman Candidate battling back

Dec 30, 2022; Jacksonville, FL, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) celebrates a touchdown against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the third quarter in the 2022 Gator Bowl at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 30, 2022; Jacksonville, FL, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) celebrates a touchdown against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the third quarter in the 2022 Gator Bowl at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of the 2022 CFB season, it was unclear what would become of vagabond quarterback Spencer Rattler, even to South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer.

 Rattler's college career has been eventful, to say the least.

.He was a Heisman Trophy favorite going into the 2021 season at Oklahoma, but lost his job to a guy named Caleb Williams. Yep, the same Caleb Williams who won the Heisman Trophy last season at USC.

 Rattler also moved to USC — University of South Carolina — where he had a decent 2022 with an 8-5 record, but it ended with a Gator Bowl loss to Notre Dame, 45-38. Still, that No. 19 AP ranking was South Carolina's best since 2014. Rattler returns for another chance to prove himself, but he will start as the No. 14 quarterback on NFLDraftScout.com's list, somewhere in the 200 overall area.

 We fully expect him to move up, perhaps dramatically. And so does Beamer.

 “And when I told you guys immediately after the season that I didn’t know, I didn’t know,” Beamer said. “I mean those are the conversations that he and I had, and myself and his dad and his family also. We finished the regular season, we know we have a decision to make, he really was totally focused on the bowl game and trying to beat Notre Dame in that bowl game. We had conversations throughout the month off and on, his family and I and Spencer and I, and then once the bowl game finished I saw his mom and dad and his family as I was literally getting on the bus at the bowl game to go back to the hotel after the game.”

 Rattler had just completed his fourth collegiate season, with one year of eligibility left and NFL aspirations looming. But after discussions with Beamer and his own family, he ultimately decided returning to South Carolina for one final season was the right move for him.

 “We talked a little bit, had some conversations over the next week but Spencer’s a very mature guy. Very smart guy, unbelievable family, he was going to make the best decision for him and his future and his family,” Beamer said. “Absolutely glad that he decided to come back certainly, he’s a great guy, love being around him, makes our team better, makes our program better in coming back for another season. He’s still young, he’s played a lot of college football but he’s still a young guy and this is the best thing for his future also.”

 Along with managing Rattler’s return, Beamer was also tasked with replacing offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield, who took the job as Nebraska‘s offensive coordinator following the 2022 season. And Beamer also opened up about how Rattler’s comeback had an impact on the offensive coordinator he’d eventually hire.

 “And that was the other part of it too, Spencer’s making a decision on whether to come back while we’re in the process of hiring an offensive coordinator. So certainly I’m trying to make a hire when we hire Dowell Loggains I’m trying to do what I thought was best for our program long term, but I’d be an idiot if I didn’t consider what was best for Spencer Rattler and how well Spencer could potentially mesh with our new coordinator,” Beamer explained.

 Loggains ultimately brought the combination of an NFL and collegiate coaching success that will set up Rattler for success in his final season in Columbia and beyond, and it will be interesting to see how he performs in his final season under a new OC.

 “So certainly Dowell’s background in the NFL helps with Spencer, Dowell’s coached quarterbacks in the NFL his entire career, so that helps with Spencer also,” Beamer said. “But then what Dowell has been able to do at the University of Arkansas and being exposed to that offense along with his time in the NFL I think will really benefit Spencer in our offense, in general being able to mesh all that.”

 Here is a look at NFLDraftScout.com's QB ratings heading into 2023 Season

 RANK       FULL NAME              SCHOOL POS          POS. RNK                 HEIGHT   WEIGHT                  CLASS     40 TIME   PROJ RD

1                Caleb Williams         USC         QB            1                6005         220           Jr                  4.48          1

3                Drake Maye               North Carolina          QB            2                6043         225           rSo                  4.62          1

10              Quinn Ewers             Texas        QB            3                6021         204           rSo                  4.76          1

33              Riley Leonard           Duke         QB            4                6035         209           Jr                  4.54          1-2

84              Joe Milton III              Tennessee                 QB            5                6045         242           rSr                  4.65          3

111            Bo Nix      Oregon     QB            6                6016         218           rSr             4.62          3-4

115            Jordan Travis            Florida State              QB            7                6005         212           rSr                  4.54          3-4

130           Michael Pratt             Tulane      QB            8                6025         220           Sr              4.7                  4

135           Michael Penix Jr.      Washington               QB            9                6025         216           rSr                  4.64          4

159           Devin Leary               Kentucky  QB            10              6012         217           rSr                  4.78          4-5

162           Jayden Daniels        LSU          QB            11              6036         205           rSr                  4.52          5

173           Austin Reed              Western Kentucky    QB            12              6005         230           rSr                  4.78          5

196           KJ Jefferson              Arkansas QB            13              6025         246           rSr                  4.76          5-6

224           Spencer Rattler        South Carolina         QB            14              6005         218           rSr                  4.74          6-7

231           Sam Hartman            Notre Dame               QB            15              6005         210           rSr                  4.76          6-7

247           Cameron Rising       Utah          QB            16              6015         215           rSr                  4.64          7

271           Will Rogers                Mississippi State      QB            17              6021         210           Sr                  4.84          7-HPFA

281           Grayson McCall       Coastal Carolina      QB            18              6022         215           rSr                  4.67          7-HPFA

289           Kurtis Rourke            Ohio          QB            19              6045         216           rSr                  4.73          7-HPFA

300           Phil Jurkovec            Pittsburgh                  QB            20              6052         235           rSr                  4.72          7-HPFA

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