With the sudden retirement of Bob Stoops, the future of Oklahoma Sooners football was put into question. How do you replace a legend? How does the culture change? However, the more important question leads back to the football field. What happens to OU’s recruiting power? We have answers to almost all of those questions, with one answer still being decided. Lincoln Riley was named the head coach, Riley hired his former mentor at East Carolina in Ruffin McNeill who is well known in CFB. Now to answer the last question we could look at his success in the last few months. However, recruiting is a long-term game. With that being said, we can begin to dive into the film of recent commits. We’ll start with Spencer Rattler today.
C O M M I T T E D ‼️— Spencer Rattler (@SpencerRattler) June 27, 2017
I want to thank God, my family, and my coaches for guiding me through this process and giving me this opportunity! pic.twitter.com/5cdXu6N4Pg
Now that’s how you announce your future. That’s nice and all, but that’s not why you’re here. Before we dive deep, let’s take a look at some of Rattler’s accolades and basic info. Rattler is a 6’1”, 175 pro-style quarterback from Pinnacle High School in Phoenix, Arizona. He’s currently ranked as the No. 3 pro-style QB in the country (2019). According to 247 sports, Rattler is rated at .9783 (out of 1.000) which puts him on the fringe between a four-star and a five-star prospect.
Rattler started for Pinnacle his freshman and sophomore campaigns. It’s worth noting that his record is not reflective of his talent (11-12), and he has improved over the last two seasons statistically.
Freshman Season 2015-2016:
Rattler took the reins in what is considered a very difficult landscape for high school football. Rattler wasn't spectacular, completing 56% of his passes for 2,381 yards, 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The TD-INT ratio is something positive, and he also showed another dimension to his game as he can for 189 yards on 39 attempts with 2 touchdowns. Rattler and Pinnacle would go on to lose their opening matchup in Double OT 38-37.
Sophomore Season 2016-2017:
Rattler showed great improvement as he led Pinnacle to the 6A State Playoffs. Pinnacle would go on to put up a fight against powerhouse Brophy College Prep, but ended up with a 52-42 loss. Only being a sophomore, Rattler was allowed to throw it more often, with an increase of 37 attempts per game. He also improved in every other category, with his completion percentage rising to about 62%. His passing yards increased along with his rushing totals. He also ran the ball 77 times and accumulated 462 yards with 5 touchdowns.
Now that we have gone through statistics and basic details, it’s time to get to the fun part...THE FILM. One of the reasons I am so high on Rattler is his great footwork, specifically on rollout that might look familiar to the Sooner faithful (minus the play fake).
The option is king in today’s college football landscape, whether it be a simple read option, Veer Option or a RPO (run-pass option.) Some also believe that this style of offense doesn't really require a “special quarterback.” Well I’m sorry to break it to you, but it in fact does. Specifically when rolling out to your non-throwing arm side, a quarterback has to have good footwork in order to make the right pass. Footwork is key, Rattler shows flashes of great footwork.
Rattler’s footwork is rather impressive for someone who is about to be a high school junior. However, one flaw is that he does tend to drift during instances in which he should be setting his feet (although it’s an issue that can be easily fixed).
Another positive aspect of Rattler’s game is his touch and football IQ. On this play in particular, Rattler drops and sets his feet. Taking his time to deliver a beautiful ball.
Rattler’s pocket presence is outstanding, his ability to move in the pocket and fire the ball accurately down the field is one that a lot of quarterbacks simply don't possess. In terms of handling the blitz, most quarterbacks get into the “Chuck and Duck” style of play. Meaning, they throw with the hope of not getting hit (which usually leads to interceptions and inaccuracy). Vision is also key in terms of understanding the blitz package that the opposing defense is bringing. Rattler shows great vision and awareness by stepping up in the pocket, remaining poised and hitting his check down.
While it isn't a miraculous touchdown pass, you have to love Rattler’s ability to step up in the pocket and deliver a strike. His footwork is also flawless on this play, staying in the direction of his intended pass, all while rolling out to his arm side.
Rattler’s “cons” aren't that serious. Let’s remember, Rattler is about to be a junior. Rattler can barely drive, so flaws such as inconsistent pocket footwork are things that will improve before he sees a college football field.
All in all, Rattler is a rather exciting prospect. With the Arizonan Gunslinger being “The Guy” of the 2019 recruiting class at this point, Rattler should be good enough to step into Norman and make an impact.