Spencer Rattler entered this season as the Heisman Trophy favorite and in the conversation to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. But after being benched mid-season in favor of freshman Caleb Williams at Oklahoma, Rattler will spend the 2022 season in Columbia, South Carolina.
Following the emergence of Williams over the course of the 2021 season, Rattler decided to also go elsewhere rather than stick around for the first season of the Brent Venables era at Oklahoma. Rattler will go to South Carolina to play for Shane Beamer, who was the Sooners' assistant head coach and tight ends coach under Lincoln Riley during Rattler's first two seasons in Norman.
For Beamer, this is a coup. You get a quarterback who you know has first round talent that will step in and immediately elevate your team. And for Rattler, he gets to be around a coach he's familiar with to hopefully produce the kind of season people expected out of him in 2021. The Gamecocks' win total was just 3.5 coming into this season, but Beamer led them to six wins and a bowl game in year one. With a guy like Rattler under center, South Carolina should be able to compete with pretty much every team on its schedule, save probably Georgia and Clemson.
I can't recall another example of a preseason Heisman favorite and presumptive No. 1 pick transferring, so next season in Columbia should be pretty interesting to watch. If you're a Gamecocks fan, though, you'll take this 11 times out of 10 and see what happens.