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#pounditThursday, February 2, 2023

Lincoln Riley insists Spencer Rattler, Tanner Mordecai got fair shot at starting job

Lincoln Riley

When Jalen Hurts chose Oklahoma as his transfer destination following his graduation from Alabama, many assumed his choice came with the promise that he would be the program’s starting quarterback. Lincoln Riley has insisted that is not the case.

During Oklahoma’s season-opening game on Sunday against Houston, ESPN’s announcers talked about Hurts winning the starting job. They said they were told by Riley there was a fair competition where all the quarterbacks received equal snaps and chances to win the job.

That means Tanner Mordecai, who redshirted last year, and Spencer Rattler, a five-star recruit, both got the same opportunities as Hurts. Part of Riley’s proof that there was an equal competition is that he says if there were a time to give one quarterback more snaps than the others, it would have been this year with Hurts, who was new to the system after spending the first part of his career at Alabama, but that didn’t happen. Riley made the same statement in April when talking about the competition.

Hurts was named the starting quarterback on Aug. 19, 13 days before the team’s first game of the season. The next day Mordecai was named the backup and Rattler third string. Oklahoma would love to have Rattler redshirt this season and save his eligibility for after Hurts is gone.

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