Former Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell’s decision to transfer to Miami (Fla.) incited various responses across the college football landscape.
Some applauded Martell for the decision, while others, like Buckeye great Cornelius Green, struggled to understand why he did not stay and compete for the starting job with Georgia transfer Justin Fields.
BSB reached out to Gary Ferman of Cane Sport to gauge how those around Miami football have received Martell and where he stacks up on the Hurricane depth chart.
“He’s been received great,” Ferman said. “Miami very badly needs to upgrade its level of talent at quarterback. And I think there’s the anticipation that he can do that. So he’s been received very well and will continue to be, and from this point it’s up to him.”
The Hurricane quarterback woes have been no secret to Miami fans. After throwing for 3,120 yards and 24 touchdowns to 14 interceptions as a junior, starter Malik Rosier sputtered as a senior, eventually giving way to N’Kosi Perry, who was a redshirt freshman in 2018.
The signal caller struggles were exemplified in a 35-3 loss to Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl. Perry was 1 for 5 for 2 yards and an interception, and Rosier was 5 for 12 for 46 yards and three picks. Rosier finished his senior campaign with 1,053 passing yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions with a 52.6 completion percentage, while Perry totaled 1,091 on 50.8 percent passing with 13 touchdowns to six picks.
“Miami was in such a bad place last season at quarterback that the anticipation of somebody like Tate coming into the program, who can help make it better, has created a feeling of excitement and anticipation,” Ferman said.
All of the enthusiasm surrounding Martell’s transfer could lead to a letdown as the former Buckeye must have his hardship waiver approved by the NCAA to be eligible for the 2019 season. Regardless, Hurricane fans are ecstatic for change and hopeful the new coaching regime return the program to prominence.
“He’s nowhere on the depth chart yet, he hasn’t had a practice,” Ferman said. “But the good news for him is that everyone’s equal — you have the new coaching staff coming in, new offensive coordinator, new quarterbacks coach. So when they go into spring practice, everybody will start on an even playing field and the best man will rise to the top.”
Miami hired its former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz as head coach and added former Michigan State quarterback Dan Enos as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Enos served as an associate head coach and quarterbacks coach for Alabama, who led the nation in pass efficiency and ranked sixth in passing offense.
With an esteemed quarterbacks coach and a fresh opportunity, Martell appears set to succeed in South Beach. Pending his hardship waiver, the dual-threat quarterback could find himself amid another position battle in the spring. However, much uncertainty encompasses a program that is still very much in flux.
“I mean, based on what we saw last year he has a very good chance,” Ferman said of Martell’s opportunity to win the job. “But there is also a redshirt freshman in Jarren Williams who has not had an opportunity yet too, who is also very highly thought of. You don’t know how N’Kosi Perry is going to respond to a different coach and a different philosophy in the program. So there’s also a lot of unknown there.
“But based on what he did in the past and his capabilities, it’s really going to be up to him. I don’t think he’s going to be upstaged talent-wise. I think it’s gonna be an issue of who puts it all together and who wins the job in the spring and into the fall.”