PASADENA, Calif. – Despite rarely seeing the field in his first two years as a Buckeye, Tate Martell doesn’t lack confidence.
The redshirt-freshman signal caller, who has played in just six games as a Buckeye, figured to be in line to be Ohio State’s starting quarterback in 2019, assuming Dwayne Haskins bolts for the NFL. However, after rumors surrounding Georgia quarterback Justin Fields’ decision to transfer (and OSU being a possible destination), that assumption became clouded.
After Haskins admitted he has talked to Fields about both of their upcoming decisions Saturday, Martell met with the media Sunday and said with the utmost confidence that he would be Ohio State’s starting quarterback in 2019 should Haskins decide to leave for the professional ranks.
“I will. I am about 100 percent sure,” Martell said when asked by a reporter who Ohio State’s starting signal caller would be in 2019 if Haskins leaves. “The reason I have never left this school, after everything I have done and all the time I have put in, is because I love my teammates. That is what has really kept me here at this point.”
Martell, a former four-star prospect out of high school, wasn’t shy about his thoughts about possibly transferring either. He admitted he once thought about leaving Columbus, but reiterated that his passion for his teammates and Ohio State is what he kept him around.
“There’s probably a ton of other schools I could play for right now. Just look at what Joe did,” Martell said, referencing former teammate Joe Burrow’s success at LSU. “Joe leaves, gets one summer with the team, and he is the starting quarterback at an SEC program. It just shows the talent we have in the program.”
Martell added that the Ohio State coaching staff has discussed with him the possibility of adding a transfer quarterback, as the Buckeyes attempt to get a fourth QB on the roster after the decommitment of Dwan Mathis on signing day.
That said, Martell didn’t seem particularly interested in the idea of becoming teammates with Fields, who appears to be waiting on Haskins’ decision before making one of his own.
Reporter: “Do you know Justin Fields?”
Tate Martell: “I do not.”
Reporter: “Do you care to know him?”
Martell: “I don’t care.”
— James Grega Jr. (@JGrega11) December 30, 2018
“We are going to have to get four guys in this room one way or another. We have to have some depth. That has never been an issue for me. I’m going to go out there and do what it takes to win the job,” he said. “Two years in, I am ready to go out there and play.”
Regardless of who Ohio State may or may not bring into the quarterback room in 2019, Martell said he plans on being in Columbus in the spring to compete for the starting job if Haskins leaves.
“This has been my dream since I was young, to play for Ohio State,” he said. “I am not just going to walk away from something that I put so much time into.”