Athletic Insider: Tate Martell
January 30, 2019
Newly appointed University of Miami football head coach Manny Diaz said one of his priorities will be to solve the program’s quarterback problems. It looks like he has already taken steps to achieve his goal.
Former five-star recruit and Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell announced on Jan. 15 that he would be transferring to the University of Miami. Martell redshirted his first season at Ohio State and was a backup to Dwayne Haskins this past season. Martell completed 23 of his 28 passes resulting in an 82 percent pass completion rate. He also threw for a touchdown and ran for 128 yards along with two rushing touchdowns.
During his high school football career, Martell topped the lists to be one of the best quarterback recruits available. He earned the Gatorade Football Player of the Year award in 2016 and was named USA Today’s Offensive Player of the Year. USA Today also named him an All-American in both 2014 and 2016. Martell was considered to be the second best dual-threat quarterback of the 2017 recruiting class, second only to 2018 Heisman runner-up Tua Tagovailoa. Another notable name from the 2017 recruiting class is controversial Hurricanes quarterback N’Kosi Perry, who was ranked seventh. Martell was also ranked as the fifth best overall quarterback; Perry was ranked 15th. Martell eventually chose the Ohio State Buckeyes over the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Washington Huskies.
However, Martell put his name into the NCAA transfer portal on Jan. 10, allowing other schools to contact him about a potential transfer. This was partly due to Ohio State recruiting quarterback Justin Fields from the Georgia Bulldogs. Fields was ranked as the second best player of the 2018 recruiting class, ranked only behind Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who led the Tigers to a national title this past season. Martell previously expressed that he believed he would be starting for Ohio State in 2019, but his opinion changed when the Buckeyes landed Fields.
A few days later, Martell announced his intention to transfer to the University of Miami. He will be joining two of his former high school teammates as Hurricanes. Safety Bubba Bolden, who recently transferred to Miami from the University of Southern California (USC), and tight end Brevin Jordan, who caught four touchdowns last season, were teammates with Martell at Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bolden and Jordan both tweeted out to Martell, encouraging him to join the Hurricanes, a team whose quarterbacks struggled last year.
Miami’s starting quarterbacks last season included redshirt senior Malik Rosier and redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry. Rosier was initially the starting quarterback, but the coaching staff changed the starting quarterback multiple times. Rosier started in seven games this year, while Perry started in six. Rosier was considered to be more experienced and was a strong runner, scoring six rushing touchdowns. However, Rosier struggled significantly in the air, throwing for six touchdowns and eight interceptions, including three interceptions in Miami’s 35-3 loss in the Pinstripe Bowl to Wisconsin. On the contrary, Perry was statistically the better quarterback, throwing 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. Unfortunately, Perry also struggled in the Pinstripe Bowl, only completing one of his five passing attempts when he stepped in for Rosier. Perry has also been involved in several incidents off the field, including posting a sexually explicit video on Snapchat and violating other team rules.
Martell may very well be ineligible to play in the 2019 season unless he applies for a waiver from the NCAA. According to 247Sports, Martell may be able to argue Ohio State’s coaching change for grounds to transfer to UM and receive immediate eligibility to play. If Martell is deemed eligible for the 2019 season, he will likely compete against Perry, now a redshirt sophomore, and redshirt freshman Jarren Williams. With Martell’s transfer, it looks like Miami’s problems at quarterback in recent years may be soon coming to an end.