CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Former Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell, who transferred from the program when Justin Fields arrived — despite initially declaring that he wasn’t going anywhere because he would be OSU’s starter — lost the battle to be the starting quarterback at Miami this week.
Martell, a high-profile high school player who starred in the first season of Netflix’s “QB1: Beyond the Lights,” was a four-star quarterback out of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.
Martell was the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the nation and the No. 56 overall player in the 2017 recruiting class.
Here’s a look at the roller coaster ride over the last several years for the former star recruit:
Texas A&M controversy
After being committed to Washington since July 26, 2012, Martell decommitted on Jan. 5, 2015.
Martell initially committed to Texas A&M on Aug. 20, 2015.
There were rumors that Martell might decommit, and then a Twitter direct message revealed Martell apparently dissing a current Aggie.
“(At) Texas A&M I can start as a true freshman easy,” Martell apparently wrote. “All their QBs left and all there is going to be is Nick Starkel and he’s a–, my dude.”
Starkel responded to a screenshot of the conversation on Twitter, saying, “He was talking all that talk to everyone else but wasn’t about that action (not my DMs).”
Martell decommitted from Texas A&M on May 4, 2016. The tweet from Starkel was posted May 6, 2016.
Starkel played 11 games for the Aggies in 2017 and 2018, completing 60.8% of his passes for 1,962 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Ohio State tenure
On June 12, 2016, Martell officially committed to Ohio State. He enrolled seven months later, on Jan. 12, 2017.
After redshirting as a true freshman in 2017, Martell appeared in six games last season, completing 23 of 28 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.
Comments during Justin Fields rumors
When Dwayne Haskins left for the NFL Draft at the end of last season, Martell was the most obvious option to take over as the starter at Ohio State.
But when rumors started swirling that Ohio State could land former five-star quarterback Fields, who couldn’t overtake Jake Fromm at Georgia, Martell was defiant that he was the top dog in Columbus.
“Why would I leave for someone who hasn’t put in a single second into this program?” Martell said on Dec. 30. “To run away from somebody who hasn’t put a single second into workouts, anything like that, and doesn’t know what the program is all about — there’s not a chance.”
Martell said he knew Fields would want to go somewhere he could play.
“It’s going to be a lot more difficult than it seems like just walking in, and there’s the job,” Martell said.
When asked who would be the starting quarterback at Ohio State in 2019, Martell said: “I will. I am 100% sure on that.”
Martell transfers to Miami
Just 11 days after his comments about Fields, Martell put his name in the NCAA transfer portal. On Jan. 16, he announced he would transfer to the University of Miami.
right back like we never left…
The Hurricanes were plagued by terrible quarterback play in 2018. Malik Rosier and N’Kosi Perry combined to complete just over 50% of their passes for an average of 6.1 yards per attempt and a total of 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
Martell seemed like the obvious favorite to win the starting job over Perry and redshirt freshman Jarren Williams, but on Monday, the team’s official Twitter account tweeted a video captioned “QB1” with Williams’ highlights.
QB1. — Canes Football (@CanesFootball) August 12, 2019
It’s unclear if Martell won the backup job ahead of Perry.
Andrew Ivins, of 247 Sports, reported Martell didn’t attend practice Monday after the news that Williams had won the starting job.
Martell did attend a team meeting Monday night, according to Barry Jackson, of the Miami Herald.
Martell has now decommitted from Washington, decommitted from Texas A&M and transferred from Ohio State. He’s already used a redshirt, so if he decides to leave Miami for another Division I school, he’ll have to waste a year of eligibility.
Martell is obviously very talented as a quarterback, but warning signs have followed him throughout his career. From creating controversy before he even signed with Texas A&M, to Ohio State feeling the need to land Fields, to Miami going with Williams this season, Martell always seems to find himself in the headlines.
If he stays at Miami, he could earn some playing time in 2019. If not, maybe the third school will be the charm in 2020.
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