A day after he accepted an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl, South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler would not give 100% confirmation if that means he’ll enter the NFL Draft.
“I’m focused on this game on Saturday,” he said. “I’ve got to take care of that first. It could be my last time out there (at Williams-Brice Stadium). You never know, I’ve got another year of eligibility as well. But, no, I’m ready to just play out there with my team and finish out strong.”
Rattler’s tone gave off the impression that his college career might soon be coming to an end. And, if that’s the case, beating Clemson on the way might might be the most-savory departing gift.
After transferring from Oklahoma ahead of last season, the Arizona native quickly learned about the disdain between Clemson and South Carolina.
“I was introduced to it last year,” Rattler said. “It’s a fun rivalry, fun time on the field.”
He also learned what a victory means to Gamecock fans after guiding USC to a 31-30 victory at Clemson in his first Palmetto Bowl.
“After that game last year, there was a lot of love from the fans,” Rattler said Tuesday. “Months after in the summer, people would say, ‘Oh, my year was made because you won that game.’ Obviously we want to do that again.”
Rattler has 3,074 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions going into this week’s game. He asked Tuesday whether he notices a drastic difference between the Clemson defense he threw for 360 yards on last season and the one he’s preparing for this go-round.
Rattler was quick to point out that he made things harder on himself by throwing two early interceptions in 2022.
“I shot ourselves in the foot last year and it made it harder to come back,” Rattler said. “With two turnovers, we’ve got to protect the ball at a higher rate, which we have been doing more this year.
“That’s one of the best defenses in college football,” Rattler added about Clemson. “They’re good up front and at linebacker on the back end. We’ve got our hands full, but we’ve got to take care of what we have to take care of.”
Who: South Carolina (5-6, 3-5 SEC) vs. Clemson (7-4, 4-4 ACC)
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
TV: SEC Network
Stream: via the ESPN app