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Spencer Rattler Will Return to South Carolina, Forgo 2023 NFL Draft

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 11, 2023

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 30: Spencer Rattler #7 of the South Carolina Gamecocks looks to pass against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the second half of the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl at TIAA Bank Field on December 30, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images

Spencer Rattler is coming back to South Carolina for another season.

The quarterback announced Tuesday that he will forgo a chance to enter the 2023 NFL draft and return to the Gamecocks for what will be his second year with the SEC team:

Spencer Rattler @SpencerRattler

<a href="https://t.co/NXsQffM2PG">pic.twitter.com/NXsQffM2PG</a>

Rattler first made waves in college football as a highly regarded recruit.

He was a 5-star prospect and the No. 1 overall pro-style quarterback in the class of 2019, per 247Sports' composite rankings, and chose to attend Oklahoma and follow in the footsteps of signal-callers such as Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.

While he played well in 2020 with 28 touchdown passes to seven interceptions for a team that finished 9-2 and won the Cotton Bowl, he never quite lived up to expectations with the Sooners.

Head coach Lincoln Riley benched him for Caleb Williams during the 2021 season, and Rattler transferred to South Carolina for the 2022 campaign. Riley and Williams are now both with USC, and Oklahoma looks much different than it did at the time.

Rattler was inconsistent in his first season with the Gamecocks, completing 66.2 percent of his passes for 3,012 yards and 18 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. Yet he also flashed his talent at key times throughout the season.

He threw for 438 yards and six touchdowns in a stunning 63-38 win over Tennessee in November that knocked the Volunteers out of the College Football Playoff race.

The signal-caller wasn't done ending the national title dreams of opponents, though, as he threw for 360 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions in a 31-30 win over archrival Clemson the very next week.

The CFP could have looked very different were it not for Rattler's late-season performances, and he will try to carry that momentum into 2023 with this decision to return to Columbia.