Late last night, the nation’s top quarterback prospect for the 2017 class, Tate Martell, committed to Ohio State. This comes roughly a month after Martell decommitted from Texas A&M. Martell officially made the announcement after Aggies assistant coach, Aaron Moorehead, tweeted about how recruits have no loyalty now when choosing a school.
Moorehead’s outburst cost the team two prospects from the 2017 class. After Martell officially decommitted, Nicholas Starkel, another Texas A&M quarterback from the class of 2017, posted a private conversation of Martell being extremely confident in his chances of being a true freshman starter.
Now that Martell has committed to OSU and the Twitter drama storm has calmed, it would seem reasonable for Ohio State fans to be excited for having the best dual-threat quarterback according to scout.com committed to the Buckeyes. However, here is why Martell’s commitment will mean nothing to the Scarlet and Gray by the time the 2018 season rolls around.
Tate Martell’s Commitment to Ohio State Means Nothing
While it is not uncommon for high school athletes to be arrogant, it typically does not transfer well into college. The players are bigger, stronger, and have more of a reason to play to the best of their abilities to increase their draft stock. By the time the 2017 season rolls around, as of now, Ohio State will have six quarterbacks: Stephen Collier, Joe Burrow, Dwayne Haskins and of course Martell.
While he may have thought that he could easily beat out Starkel for the starting job, becoming a true freshman starter at Ohio State will not be nearly as easy. All quarterbacks listed will be able to learn from J.T Barrett who has had no problem at the helm of the Ohio State offense over the year and has had 45 touchdowns to only 14 interceptions.
All the quarterbacks above also are much taller than Martell and will have an easier time in the pocket in a conference where short quarterbacks have not had success lately. Out of all of the 2015 starting quarterbacks and the projected quarterbacks for 2016, no quarterback started who stands under 6’0″ and most were not shorter than 6’3″. This is mainly because of the success stories out of the Big Ten lately in terms of defense.
Stars like J.J. Watt, Chris Borland, Joey Bosa, and Ryan Kerrigan have all come from the Big Ten and have helped continue an era for elite defenses in the conference. Smaller quarterbacks like Martell will have a very hard time even being relevant in the Big Ten, let alone starting as a true freshman.
If you participate in discussion boards about Ohio State or college football in general, you have likely noticed a particular hatred towards Tim Beck. Beck called the plays for the majority of the 2015 season for Ohio State. Because of a combination of lackluster play throughout the year and a loss to Michigan State, killing all hopes of a National Championship repeat, he eventually got stripped of full control over play-calling duties. Ed Warriner ended up getting sent to the box to help Beck call plays.
The offense has a clearly visible change in tempo and the team began to look like the 2014 champions that shocked the country with Cardale Jones and Ezekiel Elliott. This sudden change proved that it was not fully the players who were to blame for the poor performances and that part of the blame has to be put on Beck. This blame may shake up Urban Meyer’s confidence in Beck’s decision-making in the future.
So why does this matter? In a list that included a majority of schools on the west coast, there is a reason why Ohio State made the cut as long as they did, and eventually got the five-star recruit to commit. Tim Beck is why. Beck has visited Las Vegas to meet and see Martell in action and has been vocal about wanting him on Ohio State’s roster. While one poor season of play-calling does not discredit his entire career of scouting, it may leave a little doubt in the mind of Meyer who will have a tough decision in a few years. This doubt may be enough to give the spot to someone like Collier or Haskins who Meyer has made comments about how highly he thinks of them.
For someone who thinks so highly of themselves, it may be a tough pill to swallow being redshirted as a freshman when you can easily start at almost any school who is not a consistent Top 25 team like Colorado, Cal, or Miami, all of which were in Martell’s Top 7 list.
While this article may have come across as Martell just being another arrogant quarterback that thinks he is on top of the world, I still believe Martell will have a great collegiate career. He is a talented dual threat quarterback who can excel in a fast paced offense. However, Ohio State may not be the best choice for Martell if he wants to be a true freshman starter given his circumstance. That is why his commitment should not be taken to heart by Ohio State fans because he’s already de-committed once, and there are still 14 months until he can take his first collegiate snap.