A little more than a week after saying that he would not transfer from Ohio State, Tate Martell has apparently had a change of mind.
The quarterback has put his name in the NCAA transfer portal, The Dispatch has confirmed.
Martell was Ohio State’s backup quarterback to Heisman Trophy finalist Dwayne Haskins Jr. in 2018 as a redshirt freshman. He was a two-time Gatorade national player of the year at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.
But Martell’s hopes of succeeding Haskins were jeopardized when Justin Fields, the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2018 recruiting class, transferred to Ohio State. He began classes on Monday.
At the Rose Bowl, Martell was undaunted about the prospect of Fields coming and said he would not transfer as a result of it.
“Why would I leave for somebody that hasn’t put a single second into this program yet?” Martell said. “I’ve put two years of literally working my ass off into something I’ve been working for and a dream I’ve had my whole life.
“To just run away from somebody that hasn’t even put a single second into winter workouts and doesn’t know what the program is all about, there’s not a chance.”
He said that new coach Ryan Day’s offense was too complex for a newcomer to learn well enough to start in his first year.
“If somebody thinks they’re going to walk in and start, it’s probably not going to happen,” Martell said. “The offense that coach Day has set for us is an NFL-type offense. It’s difficult to learn. It takes awhile to get it down.”
But Martell now has had a change of heart. Entering the portal does not mean that a player is necessarily transferring. But other colleges may contact that player.
Martell completed 23 of 28 passes for 269 yards and one touchdown last year. The dual-threat quarterback also ran 22 times for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
Fields is seeking a waiver from the NCAA rule requiring transfers to sit out a year. Experts believe he has a good chance of winning his case.