Gamecocks among ‘better options’ for QB transfer Spencer Rattler, ESPN analyst says

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Shane Beamer and South Carolina are expected to utilize the transfer portal once again this offseason to help bolster the Gamecocks’ roster. Whether or not they target a quarterback remains to be seen, but there’s one intriguing option who’s already drawn some buzz as a possible future Gamecock.

Redshirt sophomore Spencer Rattler announced his plans to transfer from Oklahoma on Monday, a day after Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley left to take over at Southern Cal. Rattler’s departure has been widely predicted since he was replaced as OU’s starting QB by freshman Caleb Williams.

ESPN NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller said via social media that he doesn’t think Rattler will follow Riley to the other USC.

“I think SMU and South Carolina are more likely and better options for him,” Miller posted to Twitter.

The betting site BetOnline.ag lists Rattler with 2..5/1 odds of landing at South Carolina, second best behind Ole Miss and just ahead of SMU.

Beamer, an Oklahoma assistant before becoming the Gamecocks’ coach, was part of the 2020 offense that featured Rattler. As a redshirt freshman that season, he started all 11 OU games, and completed 214 of 317 passes for 3,031 yards and 28 touchdowns with seven interceptions. He also ran 81 times for 160 yards and six more scores.

Rattler was a 5-star recruit out of Phoenix in the 2019 class. He was a preseason favorite to win the Heisman trophy — he was THE favorite to win by some predictions. He finished with 1,483 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions in nine games played.

The Gamecocks added nine to the roster via the transfer portal ahead of the 2021 season, including quarterback Jason Brown from St. Francis University in Pennsylvania.

South Carolina’s quarterback competition is expected to be a major offseason topic of discussion even without a transfer portal addition. Brown, sophomore Luke Doty and graduate senior Zeb Noland each started four games in 2021 — and each won two games as a starter.

Noland’s college playing career will be over after the bowl game. Brown started USC’s final four games and still has one year of eligibility remaining. Doty is recovering from foot surgery that ended his season early and will be a year older; Colten Gauthier will be a redshirt freshman; and the Gamecocks will add Braden Davis in the signing class from Middletown, Delaware.

That would give the Gamecocks four scholarship quarterbacks, though attrition is always a possibility.

Beamer addressed the transfer portal after Saturday’s loss to Clemson and ahead of the Dec. 15 early signing day for high school recruits.

“The transfer portal is kind of ongoing,” he said. “There’s guys that are in the portal right now that we’re interested in that we’re recruiting. And there’ll be some guys I’m sure that pop into it as the rest of the year goes on, and then even after January. You’re constantly trying to balance your 85 scholarships and whatnot. But that’s something that is kind of already at work and something that will continue to be going forward along with high school recruiting.”

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