After a full week of spring practice, new redshirt junior football quarterback Spencer Rattler has already made progress in adjusting to the team’s offense and building relationships with his teammates.
“We all have a good time when we’re hanging out in the QB room, workouts, anything,” Rattler said. “We’re all competing of course, trying to help each other, make each other better.”
During a press conference Monday, Rattler said his time at practice has been spent learning new schemes. Despite the obstacle of having to learn a completely new system, Rattler said he is happy with his progression so far.
The team enjoys the talent Rattler brings to the position. Still, it takes time to learn and improve a system with a brand new quarterback.
“I feel really comfortable right now, but there’s always those little tweaks you have to do with different types of quarterbacks,” Rattler said.
Sophomore quarterback Luke Doty played a large role in getting Rattler accustomed to the offense, allowing him to adjust so smoothly.
“He came in here and kinda took it straight from there to here, so that’s been really fun,” Doty said. “I was able to, you know when he first got here, kinda teach him some of the offense, and I’m able to be out there for him for the team periods.”
A player who draws the spotlight like Rattler brings a lot of national attention to any team. Rattler's presence on the field hasn’t changed the mindset of those around him, though, according to sixth-year offensive linemen Eric Douglas.
“No matter who’s behind you, who’s running the ball, who’s throwing the ball, your job doesn’t change, just got to get in the right position so those guys who are behind you can make the big plays,” Douglas said.
When Caleb Willams took over the starting role at Oklahoma last year, Rattler faced a lot of critics who said negative things about him and his game. Rattler said he hasn’t changed his approach since last year, but said he has matured.
“I’m still the same me, still got the same mindset, confident, ready to attack. And that’s been my mindset the first three to four practices, and going to be my mindset going forward,” Rattler said.
Rattler is everything he is advertised to be talent-wise, according to Rattler's backfield teammate, sophomore running back MarShawn Lloyd.
“The stuff that you guys know about Spencer, he’s who he is, and he’s the real deal. And he’s going to show a lot of you guys once he really gets out there,” Lloyd said.
Rattler said he is happy with what he has seen from the team’s receivers and offensive linemen. Despite some offensive line struggles last season, Rattler said he isn’t worried about it, adding some sacks weren’t on the offensive line.
South Carolina’s defensive backs also have given Rattler a tool to improve his skills. He said he enjoyed going out and competing against them, learning and improving at the same time.
“They’ve given me a lot of good work. I mean, they’re real athletic,” Rattler said. “It’s definitely a competition every single day, so they are going to make our receivers and myself better.”
Rattler and the Gamecocks still have a lot of work to do before the spring game on April 16. A few more weeks of practice should help the team’s new quarterback become acclimated.