Tate Martell did not win the starting job at Miami, and the question now becomes, ”What’s next?”
Martell, a former four-star recruit, transferred from Ohio State after two seasons and received a transfer waiver to play right away with the Hurricanes. When news broke Jarren Williams would start the opener for Miami against Florida on Aug. 24, social media shredded Martell (a little too much, honestly). Martell didn’t practice Monday, and the speculation began.
Where – or at what position – will Martell play next? Sporting News breaks down his options:
Martell would have to sit out this season, and that would mean a third school in his first three seasons. Perception-wise, this is Martell’s worst move. Martell would be the poster child for too much, too soon. Entitlement, “QB1: Beyond the Lights” and the transfer portal will split the blame.
At that point, it would start to look like the Gunner Kiel saga. The former five-star quarterback decommitted from Indiana and LSU before committing to Notre Dame in 2012. He transferred to Cincinnati after getting lost on the depth chart, started two seasons then got benched as a senior. The production never matched the hype.
Martell would have that stigma if he transferred again, and there will be questions about his commitment no matter where he lands. The stigma of the transfers from Ohio State and Miami would outweigh his production on the field. Looking for immediate playing time would adversely affect his image as a team player and competitor.
That’s why he should consider staying at Miami and pursuing one of two options.
Martell was a niche player at Ohio State because of his ability to make plays in space, evidenced by his 5.8 yards per carry in 2018. Knowing that, Martell could fit either as a running back or slot receiver – and that could translate to the next level. Martell is 5-11, 208 pounds, and could decide that not playing quarterback would be best for his NFL potential.
Braxton Miller switched to receiver at Ohio State his senior year. Denard Robinson switched to running back toward the end of his senior season at Michigan. Martell could make that move now and have three seasons to develop at one of those positions.
The best-case scenario? Just look at Julian Edelman, the 5-10, 200-pound quarterback-turned-receiver who won Super Bowl MVP honors last season. We’re not saying he would go on to similar success, but it’s an option for Martell. At the very least it would get him on the field more this season. That leaves one more option.
Stick it out
The criticism of Martell is a symptom of another problem within college football. Quarterbacks are hyped up too soon – Martell certainly was – and their timetable for development has been thrown off by the transfer portal.
Martell took advantage of a waiver, and it didn’t work out. For what it’s worth, Justin Fields has not been named the starter at Ohio State yet and is battling with Kentucky transfer Gunnar Hoak for the starting job. There is still time for Martell to be a successful college quarterback.
Martell, meanwhile, could easily get a chance to play quarterback this season knowing Wiliams is a redshirt freshman and Manny Diaz is a first-year coach. Perhaps Martell will get his chance on the field, which never happened at Ohio State once Dwayne Haskins took over the starting job. Haskins, by the way, sat for two years before getting his chance to start.
That might be the best course of action for Martell if he wants to stick as a college quarterback. He has waited for two-plus years. He’ll have to wait a little bit longer now, no matter what.
In this case, it might be best to stick it out.
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