Tate Martell Announces Transfer to Miami from Ohio State

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2019

Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell throws a pass against Rutgers during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State beat Rutgers 52-3. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

Tate Martell has found his next school.

The quarterback will transfer from the Ohio State Buckeyes to the Miami Hurricanes, according to an Twitter announcement on Tuesday:

Vince Sapienza of Fox 5 in Las Vegas first reported the news. 

This comes after Martell put his name in the NCAA transfer portal in January, freeing him to discuss a move with other schools.

While Martell hasn't seen much playing time at the collegiate ranks, he arrived at Ohio State with plenty of hype after he was named the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year at the high school level. According to 247Sports' composite rankings, he was a 4-star prospect and the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the 2017 class.

The Las Vegas native didn't lose a game during his high school career, consistently beating defenses with both his running and throwing ability.

That skill level didn't translate to success on the field at Ohio State in large part due to a crowded quarterback room. J.T. Barrett was entrenched as the starter when he arrived, and Joe Burrow and Dwayne Haskins were also on the roster. 

Still, Barrett graduated following the 2017 campaign, and Burrow transferred to LSU when it was clear Haskins would be the 2018 starter. Martell served as Haskins' backup for the Buckeyes last season as they won the Big Ten title and Rose Bowl, completing 23 of 28 passes for one touchdown and zero interceptions while adding 128 yards and two scores on the ground. 

Haskins was a Heisman Trophy finalist and dominant playmaker for Ohio State in 2018 and shot up NFL draft boards before declaring for the draft, seemingly clearing the way for Martell to become the next quarterback for the Big Ten powerhouse. However, that changed when Justin Fields elected to transfer from Georgia to Ohio State heading into the 2019 season.

According to 247Sports' composite rankings, Fields was a 5-star prospect and the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2018.

Martell didn't seem fazed when he told reporters during the Rose Bowl media day: "I have no doubt that I'll go out there and win the job. ... There's no reason I shouldn't [stay]. This dude hasn't put a single second into Ohio State football. I don't know why somebody would think that the grass is greener on the other side, but I guess he's kind of looking at it like a fantasy way, I guess."

Alas, he must have seen the writing on the wall with the Fields transfer, but Ohio State's loss is Miami's gain.

Martell never had the opportunity to parlay his potential into significant game action during his time with the Buckeyes, and he will look to follow in Burrow's footsteps. Burrow transferred from the Big Ten program and became the starting quarterback for LSU, leading the Tigers to a Fiesta Bowl victory in his first season with the team.

Martell's athleticism surely stands out for his new team, as he can keep plays alive downfield or pick up significant yardage with his legs. He can run read-option looks, hit receivers downfield and operate a tempo-based attack.

At Miami, Martell will have the chance to eventually compete for a starting job and battle for conference crowns.

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