Former Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell transferred to Miami (FL) with high expectations once Justin Fields joined the Buckeyes.
As a former five-star recruit, Martell was expected to beat out redshirt freshman Jarren Williams and redshirt sophomore N’Kosi Perry for the starting quarterback spot, but things didn’t go as planned. Buckeye Sports Bulletin reached out to Gary Ferman of CaneSport.com for more information on Martell.
“It hasn’t gone very well,” Ferman said. “He got beat out by the two quarterbacks that were here. He couldn’t win the starting job and hasn’t really played. He played around with being a receiver for a few days, that didn’t work out. He hasn’t really played and has been having personal issues. He’s away from the team right now dealing with personal issues.
“The only good thing about his coming to Miami is he likes it at Miami and he’s got a freaking drop-dead gorgeous Brazilian swimsuit model as a girlfriend.”
Beyond his Instagram-famous girlfriend, Kiki Passo, not much has gone well for Martell in South Beach. Hurricane fans were thrilled when the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the 2017 class joined their team, but Martell never found his footing on the field.
“The fans took him in and we’re excited about him coming, just based on the hype and everything, but there was no substance to it once he got here,” Ferman said of Martell. “He clearly from day one was not good enough to play here.
“Football-wise, he’s just not good enough. He’s never going to play here. He’s just not close to good enough, and they’re not even good at the quarterback position. He can’t throw.”
While it was clear Martell was not cut out to be the signal caller for the Hurricanes, the shifty Las Vegas Bishop Gorman product tried his luck at wide receiver as well.
“He never really played more than a couple plays,” Ferman said of Martell playing wideout. “It was not something that was really going to have any legs.”
Martell is currently away from the team for personal reasons, as Ferman mentioned, and there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding a potential return.
Miami coach Manny Diaz was asked if Martell would be back for Miami’s matchup with Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl.
“That’s actually not for sure,’’ Diaz said. “No. Tate and I spoke about 10 days ago about him sort of getting right here in the two-week period of our last two games. So, again, it’s on him. And when he feels like he’s got his mind right to come back, we’re ready for him. And I hope it is for the bowl.’’
Rumors have run rampant since Martell stepped away, and the redshirt sophomore quarterback addressed the rumors in an Instagram post.
“My leave of absence is due [to personal] reasons,” Martell wrote. “At this time, I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to discuss these reasons. There might be a time, down the road, when I believe it is appropriate to talk about this publicly. For the time being, I need some time to focus on these issues. I wish my boys nothing but the best.”
It remains very unclear if Martell will rejoin the Hurricanes for their Independence Bowl showdown with the Bulldogs or if he will remain in Miami following the season. But it seems pretty clear that Martell will not see the field much if he stays.
“My guess is he’ll stay until he graduates, but I don’t know where he is in school,” Ferman said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if he went back into the portal. If he really wanted to play football, he could probably go somewhere like a UNLV or something and play. I don’t know. I can’t really predict how he feels about it.”
Whatever he does, Ferman indicated Martell may not be in Miami for much longer.
“His options are to go back in the portal, graduate and then go back in the portal, or not play football anymore.”
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