South Carolina Football: Spencer Rattler still underappreciated by media

South Carolina football quarterback Spencer Rattler, who is on his way to the NFL Draft, is still underappreciated by the media, ranking 6th-best in the conference among quarterbacks this season.

South Carolina football quarterback Spencer Rattler
South Carolina football quarterback Spencer Rattler / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina football did not have a good season in 2023. It would have been a disastrous one had it not been for the supreme individual effort from quarterback Spencer Rattler.

The Gamecocks' 2023 co-offensive MVP (along with All-SEC wide receiver Xavier Legette) was great this fall as he put up the third-most yards in a season in South Carolina football history (3186), set a new career completion percentage record (67.5%), finished second in team history for most career 300-yard games (8), set a new record for single-season 300-yard games (5), and put himself into the USC career top-10 for passing yards, touchdowns, and completions.

Even still, because of old narratives about Rattler's character (based on a high school documentary) and the fact he was replaced by Caleb Williams (who won the Heisman Trophy the next season), #7 is not appreciated as much as he deserves.

For example:

247Sports' Brad Crawford had Rattler ranked as the 6th-best quarterback to play in the league in 2023, and College Football Network's Cam Mellor rated Rattler as the 7th-best SEC quarterback.

Sportskeeda's Tony Pauline isn't as high on Rattler as even those lukewarm opinions. He argues that Rattler was too inconsistent with South Carolina football and that his "stinkers" lost the Gamecocks games. With that opinion, it would seem that Pauline didn't watch Rattler play at all.

Campus2Canton's Mike Vallerie has an even lower view of Rattler, incorrectly saying that he only had "moderate" success in college and that he is a locker room issue, leading him to conclude Rattler is a 6th round or later NFL Draft prospect. Both of those statements about Rattler simply aren't true, but certain narratives have existed about him for a long time and have been difficult to shake.

The reality is, Spencer Rattler is one of the best quarterbacks ever to play for the South Carolina Gamecocks, and despite a vastly inferior supporting cast to most of his contemporaries, he put up a very good 2023 season and belongs in the conversation of the best quarterbacks in the country.

He outplayed presumed top-5 pick Drake Maye in the season opener, outdueled Will Rogers (the SEC's 2nd-leading all-time passer) for a win, and was responsible for about 75% of the Gamecocks' total offensive yards and 61% of their touchdowns.

Now that he is headed off to the NFL, the Gamecock legend will get a chance to fulfill a lifelong dream of playing football at the highest level, and an NFL franchise will be better because they decided to take a chance of Spencer Rattler.

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