South Carolina football: Loggains recruiting Spencer Rattler

Dowell Loggains has the first priority of the job at South Carolina on lock: quarterback Spencer Rattler.

“We’ve got to do a great job recruiting him back,” Loggains said during his introductory press conference on Wednesday. “I told someone, ‘He’s the biggest recruit since my wife.’ ”

Whether Rattler ever plays for Loggains in Columbia is up in the air. After coming on strong in wins over No. 5 Tennessee and No. 8 Clemson, the ex-Oklahoma signal-caller is currently weighing a return to college against leaving early for the NFL Draft.

Rattler had ample hype around him heading into the season.

He’d lit the Big 12 on fire his first full year as a starter at OU before being benched in 2021 in favor of future Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams. That led to a transfer to South Carolina, where Rattler became one of the most high-profile imports in program history.

This year ebbed and flowed in Marcus Satterfield’s offense. Rattler threw seven interceptions in his first five games, struggling to find a rhythm as the Gamecocks offense tripped over itself week after week.

But as the year progressed, he found a groove. He torched Tennessee for 438 yards and six touchdowns. He followed that up with 360 yards and two scores passing and one rushing in the victory over Clemson to close the regular season.

“I think that those last two games — and I haven’t really had a chance to dive in and talk to Spencer about this — but he played free,” Loggains said. “For whatever reason, he got to the point where he looked very confident. It didn’t feel that way all year. I think that’s probably what created some inconsistency.”

Loggains, who spent the bulk of his time in the NFL working with quarterbacks, will also handle those duties in Columbia.

What that looks like remains to be seen. However, the former Arkansas assistant coach offered at least a glimpse at what folks can expect from South Carolina’s quarterbacks under his direction.

“When you get to this age, you’re not going to change a throwing motion,” Loggains siad. “You can tweak it. You can shorten it. You can get the ball out quicker. You can coach the lower body extremely hard. You can teach guys to have really good throws — and there’s ways to do that.

“I do think the advantage of coming from the NFL is that you learn a lot. You learn a lot from quarterbacks that you’ve coached.”

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Ben Portnoy is The State’s South Carolina Gamecocks football beat writer. He’s a five-time Associated Press Sports Editors award honoree and has earned recognition from the Mississippi Press Association and the National Sports Media Association. Portnoy previously covered Mississippi State for the Columbus Commercial Dispatch and Indiana football for the Journal Gazette in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

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