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OU football: Spencer Rattler teases future of Sooner football in win over South Dakota

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Rattler, Bridges and Wease

Freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler, freshman wide receiver Trejan Bridges and freshman wide receiver Theo Wease celebrate during the game against South Dakota Sept. 7.

It's 4:42 p.m. at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The sun is out, and Spencer Rattler strolls on to Owen Field. The freshman quarterback is wearing a red Oklahoma tank top and is listening to music with his Apple Airpods.

He's warming up with all the swagger to be expected from a former five-star recruit. He's dribbling the football as if it were a basketball between throws, and he's catching the ball with one hand when it's thrown back to him.

Over four hours later, the sun is down and Oklahoma has a 63-14 lead over South Dakota in the fourth quarter. Most of the 82,181 fans have left the stadium, but the ones who are still there are clamoring for Rattler.

"We want Spencer!" the crowd in the north end of the stadium chanted.

Not too long later, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley gave them what they wanted. 

Cheers filled the stadium as Rattler ran on the field for his first game action as a Sooner. He proceeded to execute the drive with precision and showed why he was the top-ranked quarterback in 2019.

In the 10-play drive, Rattler accounted for 65 total yards and capped it off with a touchdown pass to fellow freshman Trejan Bridges.

"The puppy came in and did a good job too," Riley said. "Spencer did a good job and had a nice drive."

Oklahoma had the No. 5 ranked 2019 recruiting class on Rivals, and Rattler played a big role in that. He was one of four five stars — the others being Bridges, and wide receivers Jadon Haselwood and Theo Wease Jr. — who have the potential to take Oklahoma's offense to historic heights in the coming years.

After each has accounted for touchdowns, the four displayed their potential to lead Riley's prolific offenses.

“First you have to recruit the right one, then second you just coach them. They got to know they’re good enough, and if they don't, then again you didn’t get the right ones," Riley said. "They got to know they’re good enough, they got to have confidence in what you're doing, and then you gotta trust them enough to let them out there and let them go play.” 

While he was impressive Saturday, Rattler likely won't see the field much in 2019. He's the third-stringer behind graduate Jalen Hurts and redshirt sophomore Tanner Mordecai.

Hurts is often lauded by his teammates for his leadership ability and maturity, and looks like a front-runner for the Heisman Trophy. Getting to play behind an experienced and accomplished quarterback and learn Riley's system for a year could prove to be valuable in the long run for Rattler.

"It was cool to see them go out and play," Hurts said. "They work hard, too. They prepare, too. It was good to see both of them go in there and have that success."

After he took a knee on the game's final snap, Rattler roamed the field with a maturity beyond his age. He shook hands with his opponents and took pictures with fans, then quietly jogged back to the locker room.

It was just 10 plays, but it showed Sooner Nation just what they might be able to expect for the Spencer Rattler era.

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