Ranking Possible Landing Spots for Tate Martell's Transfer from Ohio State
Tate Martell is the latest player to join a college football transfer market loaded with touted quarterbacks and former top recruits. After two seasons at Ohio State, he's decided to leave the school.
Barring a granted waiver―which is no certainty―Martell must sit out 2019 and will be eligible the next season.
According to Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports, the dual-threat quarterback is slated to visit West Virginia, Miami and Louisville.
Along with those three schools, we've also explored a couple of other possibilities and ranked them based on opportunity, schematic fit and personal connection.
Jalen Hurts is in the process of transferring. Tua Tagovailoa is expected to declare for the 2020 NFL draft after next season.
Within a year, Alabama will have a wide-open competition.
Yes, the Crimson Tide have Mac Jones on the roster and a couple of 4-star prospects―Taulia Tagovailoa and Paul Tyson ―in the 2019 recruiting class. With only scattered pass attempts between them post-2019, it's improbable there will be a clear successor.
Martell has connections with both coordinators, too. He was once committed to Washington when Steve Sarkisian (Alabama OC) was the head coach. Tosh Lupoi (DC) was an assistant on that staff then was Martell's primary recruiter at Alabama.
While it's the most unlikely landing spot of the five, Alabama fits all the criteria.
Though he starred at powerhouse Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Martell grew up in California just outside of San Diego.
A little farther up the road is a UCLA program in desperate need of improvement at quarterback. Dorian Thompson-Robinson―Martell's replacement at Bishop Gorman, incidentally― is promising, but Chip Kelly cannot be satisfied with the position's depth.
Devon Modster left the Bruins in the fall, and the current recruiting class has no touted prospect behind center.
In an offensive system best executed with a dual-threat quarterback, Martell is a fit. And UCLA isn't in a position to pass up talent.
Similar to UCLA, Louisville shouldn't be in the business of turning away interested talent. After losing Lamar Jackson, the program went from ACC contender to firing its head coach.
While it's unfair to pin complete blame on the quarterbacks, the Cardinals were abysmal at the position. They ended the 2018 campaign with 10 passing scores to 15 interceptions, averaging only 6.4 yards per attempt en route to a 2-10 record.
Martell is slated to visit the Cardinals after heading to West Virginia and Miami, per Wiltfong. Being the last destination could benefit Louisville.
The opportunity is obviously there, and new head coach Scott Satterfield is set to install a high-efficiency system that takes advantage of mobility under center. Compared to the other two key contenders, Louisville's personnel simply isn't in a good spot.
2. West Virginia
West Virginia has a front-runner to replace Will Grier in Jack Allison, but a little bit of competition couldn't hurt.
Martell headed to Morgantown on Sunday, and new Mountaineers head coach Neal Brown will have the first pitch. His offense is well-suited to match the personnel Dana Holgorsen recruited, so expectations won't be lowered for West Virginia during this transition.
For that alone, WVU is a more appealing place than Louisviile. Satterfield is embarking on a thorough rebuild there.
However, if Martell isn't eligible in 2019 and Allison excels, the latter would be a senior in 2020 and be the favorite to retain the job.
Miami struggled in 2018 because Mark Richt couldn't settle on a quarterback and employed a dated system. That combination of issues led him to retire, and Manny Diaz is looking to overhaul the offense.
Diaz managed to swipe Dan Enos from Alabama, taking one of Nick Saban's top choices to replace coordinator Mike Locksley. Enos helped develop Hurts and Tagovailoa in an offense that often called run-pass options―something that is an ideal fit for Martell.
Enos served as Martell's primary recruiter while on Bret Bielema's staff at Arkansas. That's not the only connection, though. Martell played with tight end Brevin Jordan and safety Bubba Bolden, a recent Miami transfer, in high school.
Yes, the 'Canes are also interested in adding Hurts right now. But if Martell sits out 2019 as expected, the Alabama transfer would no longer be eligible once Martell is.
Either way, it's a matter of competing with N'Kosi Perry and Jarren Williams upon arrival.
All recruiting information via 247Sports' composite. Stats from NCAA.com, cfbstats.com or B/R research. Quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow Bleacher Report CFB Writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.