Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley outlines how Spencer Rattler can ‘play so much better’

Oklahoma football head coach Lincoln Riley thinks Spencer Rattler can “play so much better.”

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Spencer Rattler may be the favorite to win the 2021 Heisman Trophy and maybe be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, but Oklahoma football head coach Lincoln Riley feels he has not even come close to tapping into his potential.

“He did so many good things and certainly don’t want to discount that, but the guy can play so much better,” said Riley about Rattler during Big 12 Media Days on Wednesday. “For him, we’ve really focused this offseason on him physically. Improving the way he can move his body, all those things. I think he’s taken some steps and him getting full command of our offense and how we want to attack people … It’s just a constant journey at that position and he’s just on it right now.”

This is Rattler’s third year on the Norman campus. In his first year as the Sooners’ starting quarterback, Rattler completed 67.5 percent of his passes for 3,031 yards, 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 11 games. The former five-star recruit out of Phoenix, Arizona is the first returning starting quarterback Riley has had since taking over for Bob Stoops back in 2017.

How does Rattler go about getting better in his redshirt sophomore season with the Sooners?

Oklahoma football: Lincoln Riley thinks Spencer Rattler can be even better

The comparisons Rattler draws to former Texas Tech gunslinger Patrick Mahomes make some sense. They have howitzers for right arms, are able to extend plays with their feet and are not afraid to rifle the pigskin deep under any circumstances. The biggest difference is Rattler was heavily recruited out of high school, while Mahomes was a three-star who played baseball.

While Rattler settled in nicely during the second half of last season, Oklahoma dropped two games early in conference play to Kansas State and Iowa State to be essentially eliminated from College Football Playoff consideration. Fortunately, Rattler played within himself and displayed a ton of confidence down the stretch to help Oklahoma win the Big 12 and the Cotton Bowl Classic.

It is easy to see why Rattler is the clear frontrunner to take home the Heisman Trophy this fall.

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