The official kickoff of the 2021 Oklahoma football season is still a month and a half away, but quarterback Spencer Rattler is already the betting choice for some prestigious individual hardware this season, including the Heisman Trophy.
Rattler is one of 11 players out of the Big 12 Conference, and two from Oklahoma, named to the 2021 Maxwell Award preseason watch list. The Maxwell Award is presented annually to the most outstanding player in college football, regardless of position.
The Sooner quarterback is joined on the Maxwell Award watch list by one of his favorite receving targets, sophomore Marvin Mims.
In his first full season as the Oklahoma starting quarterback and field general of one of the most prolific offense in college football, Rattler threw for over 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns with seven interceptions in 11 games. He completed 67.5 percent of his pass attempts (214 of 317). He also picked up 161 yards rushing and scored six rushing TDs.
With Rattler at quarterback, the Sooners won a sixth consecutive Big 12 championship and capped off a 9-2 season with a resounding 55-20 victory over a depleted Florida Gators team in the Cotton Bowl Classic.
In a recent article for Pro Football Focus, Anthony Treash ranked Rattler No. 1 in his College 50 ranking for 2021.
“Rattler has a little bit of Texas Tech Patrick Mahomes in him, both stylistically and situationally,” wrote Treash.
“He has an ultra-quick, effortless release to pair with jaw-dropping arm talent and elite playmaking ability outside of structure.”
If Rattler has the type of year most everyone is anticipating, and Oklahoma follows form, we should at least see the OU quarterback’s name among the Maxwell Award finalists.
If not the Maxwell Award, Rattler should be even a better bet to win the 2021 Davey O’Brien Award. He is one of 30 quarterbacks who are in preseason consideration for the award, which honors the best quarterback in college football. Twelve of the 30 players on the O’Brien Award watch list are returning starters, including OU’s Rattler.
Rattler is one of four Big 12 quarterback on the O’Brien watch list. The others are Brock Purdy of Iowa State, Spencer Sanders of Oklahoma State and Max Duggan of TCU.
Three former Oklahoma players are previous winners of the prestigious Maxwell Award: RB Tommy McDonald (1956), QB Jason White (2003) and QB Baker Mayfield (2017).
Four Oklahoma quarterbacks are past winners of the Davey O’Brien Award: Jason White (2003 and 2004), Sam Bradford (2008), Baker Mayfield (2017) and Kyler Murray (2018).