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College football: Oklahoma Sooners' Spencer Rattler enters NCAA transfer portal

College football: Oklahoma Sooners' Spencer Rattler enters NCAA transfer portal
Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler (C), shown Dec. 30, 2020, started all 11 games as a redshirt freshman last season before being benched in 2021. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler, a preseason Heisman favorite who was benched early in the 2021 season, announced Monday he is entering the NCAA transfer portal.

"Sooner Nation: Thank you for allowing me to be a student-athlete at this prestigious institution," he wrote on Twitter. "Thank you to every teammate and coach these last three seasons. We won several games together and made memories that I will cherish forever. Special thanks to my family and friends for your support.

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"Thank God for the game of football. It's the ultimate team sport and brings people and communities together unlike anything else. At this time, I would like to announce that I have decided to enter the transfer portal to continue my academic and athletic career. Thank you again, Oklahoma. I will miss you."

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Rattler started all 11 games for the Sooners as a redshirt freshman last season, recording 3,031 passing yards and 28 touchdowns with seven interceptions. He was named first-team All-Big 12 in the 2020 campaign.

Entering this season, Rattler was a heavy favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. However, he was benched for the second consecutive year during the Sooners' Red River Rivalry game against the Texas Longhorns.

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Last year, Rattler re-entered the rivalry game and guided the Sooners to a 53-45 overtime win over Texas. This season, true freshman Caleb Williams replaced Rattler in the game and rallied Oklahoma past the Longhorns. Williams kept the starting job after the victory.

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Rattler compiled 1,483 passing yards and 11 touchdowns with five interceptions this season.

The 21-year-old Rattler, a native of Arizona who was the top-ranked quarterback prospect in the 2019 recruiting class, will have three years of eligiblity remaining.

Former Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley accepted the head-coaching job at USC on Sunday, and the Sooners have lost multiple commitments since.

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