South Carolina’s football team features many new faces this season. For some of those newcomers, there’s an existing familiarity.
Last December, quarterback Spencer Rattler and tight end Austin Stogner announced they would transfer from Oklahoma to South Carolina and rejoin head coach Shane Beamer, who served as assistant coach during their time at Oklahoma.
The continuity has helped Stogner — who arrived on campus in June — get acclimated to the offense.
“I know the kind of play style he plays with, and he’s helped me with the plays,” Stogner said of his QB.
South Carolina added nine scholarship players to its roster via the transfer portal. The Rattler-Stogner tandem is perhaps the most intriguing of those additions.
The two played together at Oklahoma since their arrival there in 2019. Rattler saw the field sparingly as a true freshman, but he became a full-time starter for the 2020 season.
Stogner played 14 games in his first season and eight the following year, when Rattler was the starter and Beamer was an assistant coach.
In Columbia, Rattler has a growing handle on the offense. He’s taken first-team snaps since his arrival for the spring semester. Now, the team’s projected starter looks to build on that chemistry with Stogner and all their new teammates before the Sept. 3 season opener against Georgia State.
“We’ve still got another week-plus to work, so we’re excited to see our growth,” Rattler said.
Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage in Williams-Brice Stadium gave Rattler and Stogner a chance to increase their bond with the rest of the Gamecocks.
Rattler said he’s seen growth in the offense from the roster’s summer additions, especially at the skill position.
“We’ve got a lot more guys now, which is good,” Rattler said. “We’re doing a great job. We’re making big, explosive plays, moving the ball where we need to. ... We’re on the right path.”
Stogner is working with the rest of the tight ends and learning how his skill set mixes with theirs.
He’s playing with returning starter Jaheim Bell and fellow transfer Nate Adkins. Stogner said Bell’s versatility compliments his game.
“Giving him the ball in the open field is a really good thing, but I can also go across the middle and make plays there,” Stogner said. Offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield has “been putting us in some good positions to both be out there at the same time. So that’s been fun.”
The transition to USC has been made easier for Rattler and Stogner with the help of the coaches and players.
Rattler credited quarterback Luke Doty for helping him learn some of the plays, while Stogner praised tight ends coach Jody Wright for keeping a “good attitude” around the team.
While other weapons surround the two, the Rattler-Stogner duo will continue its run in a new conference.
SEC teams aren’t as familiar with Rattler’s and Stogner’s games, as they come in from the Big 12. To an extent, this could give South Carolina some breathing room as teams game plan against them early in the season.
Running back MarShawn Lloyd hinted toward some unpredictability that the Gamecocks’ new signal caller could bring to the table in 2022.
“Having him back there, it definitely helps us out a lot in the run game as well as in the passing game because you never know what we can do,” Lloyd said.