South Carolina's Spencer Rattler bypassing last year for NFL

Spencer Rattler throws 17-yard touchdown pass vs. Kentucky (0:35)

Spencer Rattler throws 17-yard touchdown pass vs. Kentucky (0:35)

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Quarterback Spencer Rattler, perhaps the brightest spot for South Carolina in a losing season, is giving up his final year in college for the NFL.

Rattler, a fifth-year senior who spent his first three seasons at Oklahoma, announced his intentions Wednesday on social media.

"This has been a dream and goal of mine since I was a little kid and cannot wait for the chance to turn my dream into reality," he said in his post.

Rattler called his two years with the Gamecocks the best of his football life. He led South Carolina to consecutive wins over top-10, potentially playoff-bound teams in Tennessee and Clemson in 2022, when the Gamecocks went 8-5.

Rattler and the team had higher hopes this season, but a four-game SEC losing streak in September and October left them at 5-7. South Carolina fell to rival Clemson 16-7 on Saturday night, when Rattler was pressured throughout the game and held to a season-low 112 passing yards.

"This place meant everything to me," Rattler said afterward. "Coming here, in two years and just enjoying every moment: the adversity, the success. I wanted to be a part of change in this program. And I feel like I put 110% effort into it every day."

He teased fans that he might make use of his sixth season of eligibility before declaring that he was turning pro.

Rattler finished his career with 10,807 yards passing, 77 touchdowns and 32 interceptions.

His draft status is all over the place in a year considered deep with talented quarterbacks. Rattler appeared in some first-round mock drafts earlier this fall. He also has been projected as a late second-day or early third-day selection.

He started all 25 games at South Carolina and 42 of 48 contests in his career, which began with the Sooners.

Rattler's decision to leave after losing the starting job at Oklahoma reunited him with Gamecocks coach Shane Beamer, who was an assistant on Lincoln Riley's staff with the Sooners.

Beamer has cited Rattler's leadership and demeanor as much as his skill set in being vital for South Carolina.

When the Gamecocks were 2-6 after a loss at Texas A&M in late October, Beamer said it was Rattler who came up to him on the plane ride home to see how the coach was holding up and apologized that the team couldn't pull out the victory.

"'Bro, I should be apologizing to you,'" Beamer told him.

"It's not fake, that's how he is and it's the way he's always has been," the coach continued, "and couldn't be prouder of him."