The Miami Hurricanes may have found their future quarterback.
Tate Martell, a former four-star recruit and 2016 Gatorade Player of the Year, announced just after midnight Wednesday his intention to transfer to Miami from the Ohio State Buckeyes. Martell posted on Twitter an edited photograph of him alongside former Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High teammates Brevin Jordan and Bubba Bolden.
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Jordan just wrapped up his freshman season as a tight end for the Hurricanes, while Bolden recently committed to Miami as a transfer.
“right back like we never left,” Martell tweeted, “I’M A HURRICANE!”
Martell is one of two potential transfer quarterbacks the Hurricanes hosted for visits in the past week. Miami has also recruited former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts, although the Hurricanes are not optimistic about landing the former Southeastern Conference offensive player of the year.
On Thursday, multiple reports indicated Martell entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal in the wake of former five-star quarterback Justin Fields’ announced transfer to Ohio State from the Georgia Bulldogs. Miami quickly emerged as a suitor and Martell visited Coral Gables on Monday. Martell recently wrapped up his redshirt freshman season and has not yet graduated from Ohio State, which means he currently would have to sit out a year before suiting up for the Hurricanes. However, The Columbus Dispatch reported a spring graduation is still a possibility.
“He is believed to be on track to graduate in May,” said an article posted to The Dispatch’s website Thursday.
If true, Martell will remain in Columbus for the spring semester to attempt to finish his degree. He can sign sign a National Letter of Intent next month.
The 5-foot-11, 210-pound quarterback spent two seasons in Ohio and saw limited playing time, first redshirting behind quarterback J.T. Barrett in 2017 and then backing up Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback Dwyane Haskins in 2018. Playing mostly in garbage time last season, Martell completed 23 of 28 passes for 269 yards and one touchdown. He also ran 22 times for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
After the Buckeyes’ 28-23 win against the Washington Huskies in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, Martell said he hadn’t transferred in part because of affection for his teammates.
“I’ve waited two years and I know everything I need to know,” Martell told 247Sports.com last month. “I’m ready to go. I’m just going to tell you right now, if anybody comes in it’s going to take them over a year to learn the offense in terms of to be where you need to be to go in and take over the offense and perform at a high level. ... If someone is going to come in and just think they are going to walk in and start, it’s probably not going to happen just because of having to learn the offense.”
Less than three weeks later, though, Martell has changed course. The quarterback reportedly also considered the Louisville Cardinals and West Virginia Mountaineers. Martell spent the weekend in West Virginia, 247Sports reported, and was slated to visit Louisville later in the week.
Before arriving in Columbus, Martell was a high school standout, guiding Bishop Gorman to three straight Nevada state championships. The No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the 247Sports composite rankings for the Class of 2017, Martell threw for 7,507 yards and 113 touchdowns, with nine interceptions, in his three seasons, according to MaxPreps.com. He added 2,294 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns on 317 carries for an average of 7.2 yards per carry.
Since he became coach last month, Manny Diaz has emphasized the need to add more competition to the quarterback room after hiring former Alabama quarterbacks coach Dan Enos as his offensive coordinator. The Hurricanes return three scholarship quarterbacks with N’Kosi Perry, Jarren Williams and Cade Weldon. Perry started six games for Miami in 2018, while Williams and Weldon each played sparingly.
Both Perry and Williams are former four-star prospects, too. Perry, a redshirt freshman last season, completed 97 of 191 passes — 50.8 percent — for 1,091 yards and 13 touchdowns, with six interceptions. He added another 169 yards and one touchdown on 61 carries. Williams, a freshman, played in just one game, using 2018 as a redshirt season. Weldon was also a redshirt freshman in 2018 and is a former three-star recruit.
The Hurricanes are in the mix for at least one blue-chip high school quarterback, too. John Rhys Plumlee, a four-star dual-threat quarterback from Mississippi, is slated to officially visit Miami this weekend. Plumlee is orally committed to Georgia, but did not sign a National Letter of Intent in the early signing period last month.