Just one day after Lincoln Riley departed Oklahoma to become the new head coach at USC in late November, the top recruit in the 2019 class followed suit, as quarterback Spencer Rattler elected to enter the transfer portal. The timing of Rattler's move was somewhat coincidental, as the redshirt sophomore had lost his starting job midway through the 2021 campaign due to mediocre play. Riley's sudden exit only sealed the Sooners' fate.
Two weeks later, Rattler announced his decision to join South Carolina, which hasn't finished a campaign with double-digit wins since 2013. The 21-year-old was the preseason favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, as he racked up 3,031 passing yards with 28 touchdowns in 2020. But Rattler's stock dropped after his benching last October. And now he's looking to reclaim his old reputation and reestablish himself as a top NFL prospect with the Gamecocks.
"I think I can take my game to another level this year, by just buying-in in the film room and doing what my coaches tell me," Rattler explained to The Zach Gelb Show on Monday. "And if everyone plays well, everyone's going to have highlights and success. I still think I can play very well this year, and we'll see where the cards fall next year... Not looking too much into the future, but I'm still confident.... You always want to think of yourself as the best guy.
"So, my mindset hasn't changed. I'm going to keep putting in the work, to try to get back to that first-round whatever... You can't really get bought into what people say. It's something I've learned in my college career, so far, and career overall. I really don't focus on that. Getting older and being able to go through adversity helps you with that... I'm a confident guy. I fought through adversity, still fighting, and I'll never quit... I think that's the mindset you've got to have."
The entire football conversation between Rattler and Gelb can be accessed in the audio player above.