There is a noticeable improvement in quarterback play compared to 2021. Decision making is quicker, there is more comfortability in the offense, and trust with the offensive line has increased.
All of the quarterbacks in the string game displayed positive traits. Arm strength, decision making, and mobility has increased. Watching the quarterbacks’ feet in the pocket is like night and day compared to last year.
South Carolina is in excellent position offensively heading into the fall. In this series most walk-ons will not be covered as South Carolina is no longer in a place where they will need game production from the majority of walk-ons.
STARTER: SPENCER RATTLER
Spencer Rattler is the unquestionable starter heading into the fall. In the spring game he exhibited an awareness in the pocket, arm strength, and the ability to be deadly accurate with his throws when given time. Rattler also displayed a unique talent in changing arm angles on some of his throws to complete the pass.
Last season Carolina quarterbacks often struggled with their pocket awareness and when to throw the ball or tuck and run. That wasn’t the case in the spring game for Rattler or Doty. Both looked confident in the offense and trusted their protection. Rattler isn’t the fastest quarterback, but he has plenty of mobility and can scramble for yardage when necessary. His quick feet allow him to aptly climb and adjust in the pocket to create throwing lanes.
The skills that Rattler exhibits will automatically make the offensive line look better in pass protection. Fortunately for Carolina fans, Rattler’s time in Oklahoma was cut short. He is a true 5 star quarterback that is going to create ample opportunities for this year’s offense.
Career Stats: (Oklahoma)
- Passing - 70.1% completion rate, 4595 total yards, 40 TDs, 12 INTs
- Rushing - 127 attempts, 260 total yards, 9 TDs
Spencer Rattler put the ball on the money to WR Xavier Leggette. The play-action sucked in the linebackers and safeties. Leggette beat CB Fortune and got behind the S Peyton Williams due to the play-action. (Below)
BACK-UP: LUKE DOTY
There shouldn’t be a revolving door at the quarterback position in 2022, but if Spencer Rattler misses any time, Luke Doty looks prepared to provide efficient minutes. He looked confident and did not display any lingering effects from his injury in the spring game.
The addition of Rattler may have ramped up Doty’s development. He now has someone that will push him and who is relatable when it comes to what can be provided at the quarterback position. While, there is a gap in talent between the two, there are also many similarities to what they bring to the football field.
Doty is the clear #2 heading into the fall and provides Carolina with a viable option to efficiently move the offense if called upon.
Career Stats: (Carolina)
- Passing - 60.3% completion rate, 1380 total yards, 7 TDs, 6 INTs
- Rushing - 75 attempts, 110 total yards, 0 TDs
Doty displayed some excellent decision making here. He initially eyed WR Brown which helped pull LB Martin-Scott in that direction. WR Vann ran a curl and squated right in Doty’s line of sight. Doty then came back across and delivered a quick and catchable ball to Vann. (Below)
This is an RPO, which is so common in today’s version of football. RPO’s are especially useful when trying to dictate tempo. Doty zipped a pass to the receiver. Even though the ball was slightly behind the receiver, it was still catchable and it was in a place where CB Dial could not make a play on it. (Below)
RESERVE: COLTON GAUTHIER
Colton Gauthier was 3rd on the depth chart going into the spring. He may have a difficult time fending off Braden Davis if Davis continues improving. Gauthier clearly has a better grasp of the playbook as he ran more sets and threw the ball more than Davis in the spring game. However, his performance was not up to par.
Some of Gauthier’s struggles were due to the reserves he was playing with, while some passes were poorly thrown. The combination of the those issues created some off kilter production. Gauthier will need to step up his performance to hang on to his spot on the depth chart and kindle any hopes to see playing time in the future.
Career Stats: (Carolina)
- Passing - 100% completion rate, 19 total yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs
- Rushing - N/A
RESERVE: BRADEN DAVIS
Braden Davis was not expected to see much action this fall, but he flashed his potential in the spring game. It’s easy to see why the staff was so high on Davis coming out of high school. He possesses many of the characteristics that could eventually see him playing in some type of professional capacity one day. He’s no where near that level now, but his frame, arm strength, mobility, and ability to quickly grasp a portion of the offense signals a bright future.
Davis still needs to learn more of the offense and will have to adjust to the speed of SEC defenses, but he’s off to a strong start and may be able to push up the depth chart by the conclusion of the season.
Davis does a nice job of progressing through reads in this play as TE Kenion was not the first option. Davis continued to keep his feet active and looked down the field. His form throwing the ball wasn’t the best here, but he displayed plenty of arm strength to get the ball to its target. (Below)
RESERVE: TANNER BAILEY
Tanner Bailey will arrive this summer and attempt to learn the playbook as quickly as possible. On film, his throwing motion is effortless and he tosses a catchable ball. Expectations shouldn’t be high for Bailey in year one as he’ll most likely redshirt while learning the offense. He won’t be expected to play unless there is an unusual rash of injuries that forces him into action.