When former five-star quarterback recruit Justin Fields announced he was transferring to Ohio State this off-season, it didn’t surprise anyone that Tate Martell announced he was leaving the Buckeyes shortly thereafter. However, it appears Martell’s transfer had been in the works even before Fields’ decision.
In a lengthy feature with ESPN’s Andrea Adelson, Martell, now vying for the starting quarterback spot at Miami, provided some more background on his departure from OSU. It turns out that the Ohio State staff first broached the possibility of a transfer.
Martell backed up Dwayne Haskins as a redshirt freshman last fall and was banking on 2019 being the year he took over the reins in Columbus. However, after Urban Meyer stepped down, the situation changed.
But when he arrived in Columbus, Ohio, Martell had J.T. Barrett and Dwayne Haskins in line ahead of him. Martell waited his turn, believing 2019 would be his year. Then Urban Meyer stepped down. Martell says he was told toward the end of the season he would be better off finding another school. Shortly after former No. 1 overall recruit Justin Fields announced he was transferring to Ohio State, Martell told the world he would transfer himself.
It sounds like Ohio State was planning on going in a different direction even before Fields left Georgia, so Martell’s transfer appears to have worked out for both parties.
Now with the Hurricanes, Martell is in a three-way battle for a starting role. He’ll have to fight off N’Kosi Perry and Jarren Williams to win the job.
Reports coming out of Coral Gables indicated that Martell struggled mightily at times this spring, though he bounced back and performed well in the spring game. The quarterback competition is expected to continue into the summer as all three players adjust to new offensive coordinator Dan Enos.
Miami opens up the 2019 season against Florida on August 24.