With a high-caliber prospect like Tate Martell, the recruiting process is an exciting one to follow. For Martell, that process started in middle school. And despite dealing with football fame at an early age, Martell guided Las Vegas-based Bishop Gorman High School to three consecutive mythical national titles to close out his prep career.
Martell is a quarterback that every program in the country wanted in their 2017 class. Luckily for Ohio State, Martell is already enrolled, gaining valuable tools and experience that could help him be the next great quarterback for the Buckeyes.
Martell is a four-star prospect that caused some serious change in Ohio State’s 2017 recruiting class — and it was for the better. The second of two quarterback pledges in 2017, Martell’s visit to Ohio State as a Texas A&M commit helped him realize that Ohio State was the better fit. Eventually, Martell decommitted from the Aggies and gave his final pledge to the Buckeyes.
The National Football Player of the Year is officially a Buckeye.— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) January 25, 2017
But that's in the past now. Meet #Select17's QB @TheTateMartell. pic.twitter.com/Wo5SDbkrTC
Shortly after his decision, Martell — ranked as the nation’s second-best dual threat quarterback by the 247Sports Composite — became Ohio State’s lone QB pledge when current Kentucky commit, Akron Hoban’s Danny Clark, decided it was in his best interest to decommit from Ohio State. Not long after committing, Martell became the voice of the Buckeyes’ next generation and hit the ground running as a recruiter himself.
Since his pledge to Ohio State, Martell acquired multiple player of the year awards and another state championship. His competitiveness and ability to lead from his position are just two of the reasons Meyer wanted Martell in this class. Though he’s not the tallest quarterback around at just 5’10, Martell can more than hold his own as an engineer of an offense. A master at running the read-option, Martell will be able to keep defenses guessing with his arm and his legs.
With senior J.T. Barrett entrenched as the starter and two other QBs already ahead of him on the depth chart in redshirt sophomore Joe Burrow and redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins, Martell is looking at a redshirt season in 2017.
Though he’ll have to wait, he says the passion he has for the game will drive him in being a great Buckeye:
A letter to Buckeye Nation from #Select17's @TheTateMartell.#NSD17 pic.twitter.com/WyfDLg9rFw— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) February 1, 2017
There's no doubt about it: Martell can sling the football. He uses his athleticism to quickly drop back and scan the field. Even if Martell is pressured off of his spot and has to leave the pocket, he keeps his eyes downfield to find the open man. When Martell makes his decision to throw the ball, he displays textbook weight distribution and balance. Martell then drives off his back foot, creating maximum power on his throw. Similar to Drew Brees, Martell possesses an extremely quick, over-the-top release — a key skill to have at his height. He has an extremely live arm, as the ball flies off his hand and is typically very accurate.
Martell's feet are why he will succeed in Urban Meyer's spread offense. At Bishop Gorman, Martell already has experience running the read option, which is a staple of Meyer's power running spread offense. Where Martell emulates Johnny Manziel is his ability to improvise in the pocket and create more time for his receivers to get open. When Martell is on the run, he does a great job of keeping his eyes downfield, squaring his shoulders and finding the open receiver. Young, athletic quarterbacks are typically quick to tuck the ball and run (young Braxton Miller), but Martell has supreme confidence in his arm and the poise to make plays on the run.
Overall, Martell is an excellent dual-threat quarterback prospect who brings numerous positive attributes to the table; however, he has one major physical limitation (size), which could be a problem at the collegiate level. One has got to love Martell's athleticism, coupled with his throwing ability, which makes him an intriguing prospect. He will bring competitiveness, toughness, and true dual-threat attributes to the quarterback room. Martell's athleticism and Dwayne Haskins' throwing ability will create major problems for opposing defenses in the future. — Christopher Jason