22 Dupree reached out to me about a week or so ago and asked what I thought about Rattler and what we could expect from him in year one if he wins the job.
I think the best thing that could have happen to Rattler did. Jalen Hurts transferred to Oklahoma after having a great career at Alabama and we all know the rest of the story there.
The thing that Hurts did among many others was allow Rattler to see how to prepare, how to carry yourself and how to lead a team.
The other thing he did was allow Rattler to have time to learn the system. While everyone thinks that Rattler was just running the scout team, and he was, the time you have in drills, installs and in the film room is where you learn the most in my experience.
Whenever Riley and the QB's meet if it was anything like what I experienced, the whole group of guys who are/were QB's are watching Riley go over strategy, how to attack certain defenses, and how our own plays apply in certain situations. Where to hit the checkdowns etc.
Having Hurts in that Room in a sense was much like having a freshman since he was so new, so the level of teaching that Riley had to do this year no doubt was intense. The last time we had a Redshirt Freshman QB start for the Sooners was 2007. He had sat behind Paul Thompson in 2006 and watched him lead the Sooners to a Big XII Championship.
In 2007 a very studious but talented QB named Sam Bradford stepped on the scene and flat out started tearing it up. Somehow the Sooners dropped a headscratcher in Boulder against Colorado, and on the opening damn play against Texas Tech in Lubbock, Allen Patrick fumbled the ball. Bradford jumped in and tackled the defender who had recovered but was knocked out with a concussion. In stepped Joey Halsle and almost led the Sooners from behind, but just came up short. That was the same year that LSU went to the BCS with two losses and won it, and I've always wondered what may have been if Adrian Peterson had stayed in 2007. I don't think you lose to Colorado or Texas Tech, and are most likely in the title game. With that defense led by Curtis Lofton, Demarcus Grainger and a young Gerald McCoy, you never know what could have happened.
Before I get too far off in the weeds I remember watching that opening game with my Girlfriend, who is now my Wife and saying about how Sam was so young and was having so much success that he didn't even realize how good he was playing. Josh Heupel at the time was regarded as one of the best QB coaches out there and he was.
Now you fast forward to 2020, thirteen years later, and a very similar situation almost eerie seems to be setting up. A young, talented QB getting ready to step in and take over from a since graduated run-first QB, with a QB Guru by his side along with a up and coming talented offensive line. He will have gone through an entire season, Spring and then fall camp with a good understanding of the system and expectations of what it brings.
With all of the preparation that has gone into the grooming of Spencer Rattler as a young man, I get the sense that he's ready for this moment. He's always been the best player on the field, and from everything you hear, I don't think that's going to change any time soon.
Rumors abound about if the QB job was truly an open competition this last year whether or not he would have been able to beat out Hurts for it. Whether there's any truth to that Rumor, we may never know, but another rumor that you hear is how he's been tearing it up on the scout team, and it's that he's head and shoulders above everyone else at the position.
Everyone knows how talented the guy is, an you look around at this team as a whole. The offensive line will be for the most part in their 2nd year as full time starters. You'd think they'd make a big jump much like the offensive line did 2015 to 2016. The defense with all of the incoming talent they have on deck would also most likely make a big leap in what they're doing, and finally, you have the most talented group of receivers possibly ever assembled in Norman.
As far as predictions go, I expect Rattler to win the job and be highly successful. Riley has a QB that he went out and recruited and will be able to develop for multiple years. If Rattler keeps his head on straight, given the success that other pure passers have had with him, i.e. Baker and Kyler, it wouldn't shock me to see a statue of Rattler someday in Heisman Park alongside those other two guys.
As far as next year goes, I remember saying to the now Wife that they better get us now, because next year and the year after they won't be able to. If the rest of the team develops this offseason like it needs to, and the defense takes another step, I think we could see another trip to the playoffs and some success.
One thing is for certain, Riley is going to have a trigger man who can flat out sling it. That offense is going to be WIDE open. Matching up with Wease, Howard, Stogner, Haselwood, Bridges and Hall will be nearly impossible. Then when you have to devote resources to all of that, Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks along with Rhamondre Stevenson will be running it down your throat.
Rattler is going to be given the keys to a Bugatti Veyron, the question is will he be able to drive it. I've got a feeling he can.