ATLANTA – Spencer Rattler became one of the most high-profile transfers in the offseason when he announced late last year that he was leaving Oklahoma for South Carolina, but Gamecocks coach Shane Beamer said on Tuesday that he is not worried about how the quarterback will handle the burden of expectations with the season. just a month and a half away.
“There may be some outside pressure with him,” Beamer told SEC media days. – He has been through the fire before.
Beamer added that when he was an assistant coach in Oklahoma two years ago, he saw for himself how Rattler handled pressure.
Rattler replaced Jalen Hurts, who had traveled to the NFL, and after beating Missouri State in the season opener, Oklahoma lost in the following weeks to Kansas State and Iowa State. But Beamer said the Rattler continued to improve as the Sooners won eight games in a row to end the season. The No. 1-ranked quarterback in his signing class, Rattler finished with 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2020.
“He’s replacing all these guys,” Beamer said, remembering the list of NFL QBs Oklahoma produced, including Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. “[He] had a lot of pressure into that season. Started 0-2 at the conference. Never felt. “
But last season, Rattler went back, throwing four interceptions in his first five games. Then, against Texas, he was benched in favor of Caleb Williams, who took advantage of the opportunity and remained the starter for the rest of the season.
Beamer said he expects Rattler to experience ups and downs this season in South Carolina, but also said, “I have no worries that he … will be able to handle it.”
“We have to be good around Spencer – players and coaches – play well and help him,” Beamer added. “With Spencer, no one is asking him to go out there and be Superman. Just be you, and we’re sure he will.”
Rattler was far from the only notable transfer Beamer and South Carolina landed this offseason.
The Gamecocks also picked up Rattler’s former Oklahoma teammate, tight-end Austin Stogner, along with former James Madison receiver Antwane Wells Jr. and former Central Michigan security Devonni Reed.
Last season, South Carolina exceeded expectations. Despite being the Beamers’ first time as head coach and despite having to play with three different quarterbacks, the Gamecocks reached a bowl game and finished 7-6.
But now, Beamer said, things are different.
“People talk about us nationally, and that’s what we want,” he said. “We have high expectations in South Carolina. People are talking about our players as individuals more nationally than they were last year. There is more buzz about this program right now.
“The key for us, the challenge for us, will be to be mature enough to handle it properly as a football team and understand the work ethic it takes to get back to what we did last season and understand that the reason we had a lot of success as what we did last year was how connected we became as a team. “
South Carolina opens the season on September 3 against Georgia State.