Pinnacle quarterback Spencer Rattler, committed to Oklahoma since the summer of his junior year, did a mock signing Tuesday.
Richard Obert, azcentral sports
Never wavering since committing before his junior football season, Phoenix Pinnacle quarterback Spencer Rattler can’t wait to sign with Oklahoma.
The school did a mock signing ceremony early Tuesday morning in order for family, coaches, students and teachers to celebrate the 10 who were on hand to get ready for Wednesday’s early signing period.
Front and center was Rattler, who will make his signing official at “7:01” Wednesday morning, when he’ll fax his national letter of intent to Oklahoma.
Because of Wednesday’s fall-semester finals, the school did a mock signing ceremony Tuesday.
Basketball star Nico Mannion, who signed with Arizona in November, wasn’t present. Coach Charlie Wilde said that Mannion wanted to be part of signing ceremony in the spring with his basketball teammates Jordan Mains and Trent Brown.
Rattler would have signed in the summer of 2017 if he could have after committing to Oklahoma, where he could be next in line to be chasing a Heisman Trophy, after quarterback Baker Mayfield won college football’s most coveted individual prize in 2017 and quarterback Kyler Murray recently winning it.
Murray’s has big options: Major League Baseball or the NFL.
He signed a contract last summer with the Oakland Athletics for a reported $4.6 million. His NFL stock skyrocketed in his only season as Oklahoma’s starting quarterback.
It appears the Oklahoma quarterback job will become open in the summer. And Rattler says he is ready to seize it.
He added 18 pounds since October, getting himself ready to battle for the starting job next season an offense that seems tailored for him.
“My goal is go in there and learn and compete,” Rattler said. “We’ll see what I can do.”
With Oklahoma quarterbacks making it a tradition to win the Heisman, that is not on Rattler’s mind to be next.
“All that will come to you if you play well,” he said. “I’m just focused on getting better, going up there and having fun and learning that great offense.”
Despite playing in only seven games this season, he passed for 1,863 yards and 23 touchdowns with only three interceptions. He became the first Arizona high school quarterback in history to pass for more than 11,000 yards in a varsity career. Starting since his freshman year, Rattler finished with 11,083 yards and 116 TD passes with an additional 1,040 yards and 23 rushing TDs.
“This has been a lot of hard work put into this day,” said Mike Rattler, Spencer’s dad.
Rattler was still pursued by other colleges after he committed to Oklahoma, but the connection he had with head coach Lincoln Riley caused him to never waver.
“He’s the most genuine coach I met,” Rattler said. “Great recruiter, great person. The things Oklahoma has been doing for as long as they’ve been playing football, it’s crazy. The tradition over there, the fan base. Just everybody there is great. Once I got up there for a visit, I wanted to commit.
“It’s been 100 percent since then.”
Pinnacle linebacker Amelec Juntunen was on the program for Pinnacle’s athlete recognition on Tuesday, but he didn’t attend, because of the recent coaching change at Northern Arizona.
Coach Dana Zupke said it appears that Juntunen will still have his scholarship honored by new coach Chris Ball, the Memphis defensive coordinator who will coach through Saturday’s Birmingham Bowl, before he gets going at NAU.
Zupke said that Juntunen won’t sign Wednesday or Thursday and will be signing during the February signing period.
Oklahoma-commit and Phoenix Pinnacle QB Spencer Rattler attends Hoop Hall and reacts to Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray winning the Heisman Trophy on Dec. 8, 2018
Dana Scott, azcentral sports
Other Pinnacle athletes who were part of Tuesday’s ceremony:
Nolan Brooks (Evansville, baseball), Trey Newman (Utah Valley, baseball), Shaila Mays (San Jose State, basketball), Ellie Moore (Colorado-Colorado Springs, basketball), Sydney Reeder (Lake Forest College, golf), Taylor Fawcett (Louisiana Lafayette, softball), Kiersee McLean (Tennessee State, softball), Saj McBurrows (Columbia, volleyball) and Kylee Stokes (South Carolina, volleyball).
To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at [email protected] or 602-316-8827. Follow him at twitter.com/azc_obert.