South Carolina football fans were a bit upset with the Davey O’Brien Foundation this summer. For reasons unknown, the Gamecock quarterback was completely left off of the Davey O’Brien Award preseason watchlist, a list that included 35 signal-callers from all over the nation.
Rattler’s snub was a head-scratcher, especially when one considers how well he ended the 2022 season. However, his exclusion from Davey O’Brien conversations was shortlived.
This week, it was announced that the Carolina QB was added to the midseason watch list for the award. Rattler was one of the Foundation’s “Great 8” in week 5 for his game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. In the Foundation’s announcement, it was revealed that Rattler’s Great 8 showing against State granted him an automatic spot on the midseason watch list.
Despite one of the country’s worst pass blocking offensive lines (tied for 125th nationally; giving up over 4 sacks per game) and some big-time injuries to his offensive weapons (Juice Wells and Ahmarean Brown have missed more time than they’ve played; Xavier Legette is now hurt, as well), Rattler has excelled for South Carolina football in 2023.
In seven games, Rattler has completed over 70% of his passes and almost 2000 yards through the air. Despite a huge number of yards lost on sacks, Rattler has still rushed for over 100 yards and a couple of touchdowns on the season. He’s also only thrown one interception outside of end-of-game desperation drives and hasn’t lost a fumble all year even with all the hits he’s taken.
Next Tuesday, the Davey O’Brien Foundation will reveal 16 semifinalists for the award. Rattler has a chance to be named to the semifinal list, as he has been one of the top-16 quarterback performers in college football this season. However, the Gamecocks’ poor performance in the wins-losses column could keep #7 out of contention.
Rattler is also on the midseason watch list for the Maxwell Award, as is receiver Juice Wells. Both players were on the preseason watch list, but Wells has not played much this season due to an injured foot.