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OU football: Lincoln Riley says Spencer Rattler, Tanner Mordecai to compete for 2020 starting quarterback position

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Spencer Rattler

Freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler during the Peach Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 28.

ATLANTA — Spencer Rattler time?

The true freshman quarterback entered Saturday night’s game with the Sooners down 63-28 to No. 1 LSU, giving Sooner Nation a glimpse of the possible future.

Sunday morning, coach Lincoln Riley talked to a select group of reporters and addressed why Rattler was the first quarterback off the bench instead of redshirt freshman Tanner Mordecai.

“I repped them both equally. We’re to a point where you only have two games left. Spencer’s only used two,” Riley said. “The eligibility wasn’t a concern either way, so I repped both guys. And if Spencer would’ve gotten that first down, I was going to put (Tanner) Mordecai in the very next play. I hoped to rep them both. I put Spencer in first frankly because Spencer’s had less game reps than Tanner’s been able to have, and I wanted to get him in. Obviously, I hoped and planned on getting them both in there at the end. Had them both warmed up, but we’re getting ready to have a battle with those guys. The more reps that they can get, the better.”

One would assume with Rattler getting in and Mordecai not, that the 2020 quarterback battle may already be decided. But Riley said that’s not the case.

“That’s not how we’ve ever done anything, with what stars the guy has or what the public thinks,” Riley said. “If Spencer would’ve been the best one when we had the competition over the last year, then he would’ve been the backup this year. It’s going to be a good battle with those two.”

This will be the third straight season Riley will have a quarterback battle, with Kyler Murray beating out Austin Kendall in 2018, and Jalen Hurts besting Mordecai and Rattler in 2019.

Rattler seems to be the favorite heading into spring camp, having been ranked the No. 1 quarterback by Rivals.com in the 2019 class. Riley also said that Oklahoma will likely not seek a quarterback in the transfer portal.

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George Stoia joined The Daily in the fall of 2016 as a sophomore and has covered the soccer team, both men's and women's basketball, as well as the football team for the past three years. He graduates in May 2020.

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