Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler, the former 5-star recruit, announced on Monday that he was entering the transfer portal ahead of the 2022 college football campaign. The news arrives just one day after Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley reached a lucrative agreement to become the new head coach of the USC Trojans, although it's likely Rattler was heading for the portal regardless of Riley's decision.
It represents a fall from grace for Rattler who was largely considered a potential top-10 draft pick prior to the 2021 season. Rattler's early-season play left some to be desired, and the situation reached its boiling point when Rattler was replaced as the team's starting signal-caller by Caleb Williams against Texas. Rattler attempted just 12 passes since that day.
Rattler's next destination will be a hot topic of discussion. We've identified three fits that make sense on the surface.
Assuming that head coach Lane Kiffin remains at Ole Miss for the 2022 campaign, you'd be hard-pressed to identify a situation that better benefits all parties involved. Current Ole Miss starting quarterback Matt Corral is experiencing an outstanding season, but will almost certainly be departing Oxford for the NFL, a likely outcome Corral has done little to debunk in recent weeks.
Rattler will embark on a journey in hopes of repairing his now-damaged reputation ahead of the 2022 draft, and few destinations can give him a better chance of achieving just that than Ole Miss can. Kiffin possesses a brilliant offensive mind and employs a scheme that is extremely quarterback-friendly. Kiffin's offense has routinely generated explosive plays at every one of his coaching stops. The Rebels have especially been firing on all cylinders throughout 2021, and are currently averaging an astounding 35.9 points per contest.
Pairing with Kiffin and Ole Miss should be No. 1 on Rattler's wishlist.
A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Rattler first rose to prominence at the local Pinnacle High School. Rattler ultimately decided to depart the state in search of greener pastures at a powerhouse program such as Oklahoma, but a return to the comforts of his home state could be what the former "QB1" star needs in order to fulfill his true potential.
Arizona State's current starting quarterback, Jayden Daniels, may or may not return to the program in 2022. Even if Daniels decides to return to school, Rattler should not be intimidated by the possibility of entering a competition with him for the starting job, seeing that Rattler is a more polished prospect that is capable of making NFL-caliber throws on a snap-by-snap basis.
Head coach Herm Edwards is a coaching veteran of 30-plus years and could provide Rattler with the guidance and NFL-level coaching he badly needs right now. This hometown destination makes more sense with every word typed.
We are traveling a little off the beaten path for our third and final hypothetical destination. While powerhouse programs such as Georgia and Florida are already consistently being mentioned as possible landing spots, I don't envision Rattler landing at either one of those schools.
Rattler would encounter an incredible head coach in Mike Leach at Mississippi State. The owner of a genuinely wise and forward-thinking offensive mind, Leach's popular Air Raid system would allow Rattler to thrive as a pure thrower of the football. If Rattler hopes to heal a reputation that has unfortunately taken a deafening blow in 2021, it's imperative that he puts up some monstrous numbers in 2022. Operating in Leach's quarterback-friendly system would allow him to throw the ball 40-plus times per contest. Leach has his Bulldogs averaging an astonishing 30.9 points per contest. The ceiling would rise considerably with Rattler under center.