Tate Martell‘s college football career has certainly been a journey. The former Ohio State and Miami quarterback (and briefly, wide receiver) has found his third school since the start of his college career in 2017: UNLV.
For Martell, this is a something of a homecoming. He grew up in the San Diego area, but transferred to prestigious Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, where he emerged as a blue-chip recruit. He ultimately enrolled at Ohio State, after being ranked No. 56 overall in the 2017 recruiting class by 247Sports.
Martell played a bit behind Dwayne Haskins at OSU, and looked like a promising dual-threat player, but was boxed out of the starting gig when the Buckeyes took on Justin Fields as a transfer. He transferred to Miami, but never gained the foothold that many expected. He wound up with just one pass attempt as a ‘Cane, a seven-yard completion, along with seven rushing yards on as many carries. During the year, he switched to wide receiver before settling back in at quarterback. He was suspended to start the 2020 season, and wound up opting out.
Now, he returns to Las Vegas to try and resurrect his college career with the Rebels. Thanks to the NCAA granting fall athletes an extra year of eligibility, he still has two years left to play.
Former four-star Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) QB Tate Martell — who began his collegiate career at Ohio State before transferring to Miami — will attend UNLV this fall, a source has told WFNY.
Martell goes back home to Vegas and still has two years of eligibility remaining.
— Josh Poloha (@JorshP) July 25, 2021
Tate Martell was a very brash personality on social media throughout his impressive high school career, and into his time at Ohio State. We haven’t heard nearly as much from him in the last few years. The way things ended in Columbus, along with his failure to really contribute in Miami had to be fairly humbling.
Hopefully he gets things back on track at UNLV. 2020 was a real struggle for first-year head coach Marcus Arroyo, whose team went 0-6 on the year, losing every game by double-digits. Current Rebels quarterbacks Doug Brumfield and Justin Rogers combined for 43 passing attempts and 24 rushes last year. With Max Gilliam gone, the QB position should be fairly wide open.
Interestingly, it was one month ago when Arroyo declared that the 2021 starting quarterback would come from the current roster due to a scholarship crunch. From the Las Vegas Sun:
But while UNLV’s No. 1 spot is up for grabs, Arroyo said the solution won’t be coming from outside the program.
“We don’t have a choice,” Arroyo said. “We have no free agents. We’re out of scholarships.”
So, barring a corresponding move that opens up a roster spot, fans can stop speculating about Tate Martell or some other disgruntled QB coming in to save the day at the last minute. With UNLV at its scholarship limit, it will either be Brumfield, Rogers or Friel taking the snaps when the 2021 season kicks off.
“One of those guys has to be the starter,” Arroyo said.
The 247Sports transfer portal page for UNLV doesn’t show any new transfers out since that quote, so it is unclear if the team has found room, or if Martell could be joining as a preferred walk-on, in hopes of earning a scholarship. We’ll have more as we find out about his situation.