Tate Martell is Proof College Football's Transfer Portal Shouldn't be an Excuse to Leave
If you've listened to the #Review, our OSG Sports College Football podcast---we've talked extensively about College Football's "Transfer Portal" which allowed certain players the ability to transfer from one school to another without having to sit out a season.
The idea of the "Portal" wasn't a bad one---it gave players, should they manage to find what was classified as a "Legitimate" reason for leaving one University for another the chance to not be penalized the same way Coaches are essentially free to come and go to the school that offers them the most money.
The penultimate example of the "Portal" came early in 2019 when a chain of events found two high profile Quarterback's leaving their respective schools within a couple weeks of each other as both went looking for better opportunities. Which I should add---is NOT the reason a "Transfer Portal" should exist.
The chain of events began when Justin Fields, arguably the #1 Quarterback prospect entering College in 2018 decided after the 2018 season ended for the Georgia Bulldogs---he'd enter the portal after being unable to unseat star QB Jake Fromm. Fromm was but a Sophomore in 2018 with eligibility left and no interest in moving to the NFL after the Bulldogs failed to make the College Football playoff.
Fields decided the best fit for him would be the Ohio State Buckeyes who lost their starting QB Dwayne Haskins to the NFL. The Buckeyes did have a couple of QB's already on the roster who got a bit of playing time during 2018 when Haskins was banged up or the games were out of hand.
One of those QB's was one Tate Martell. Martell arrived in Columbus as a highly touted recruit and sat out in 2017, beginning 2018 as a "Redshirt Sophomore". Martell did have some success on the field including a very good game vs. a really bad Rutgers team.
Martell and Fields overlapped at tOSU for roughly two weeks. The Las Vegas native almost immediately put his name in the Portal and landed rather quickly at Miami. And yes, it wouldn't be Ohio State without some controversy as rumors abound the Coaching Staff in Columbus encouraged Martell to transfer which is allegedly a "Violation" of the rule. Nobody knows the exact stated reason why Tate claimed he needed to be out of Ohio, but it worked and he became immediately eligible at Miami where most expected him to be the 2019 starting QB for new Head Coach Manny Diaz and his Offensive Coordinator Dan Enos.
Until this week (Aug. 12th to be exact) when it was announced the new starting QB in Coral Gables would be Redshirt Freshman Jarren Williams would start the season at QB.
It isn't to say Williams will end the season with the job, but also on the active roster is the guy who ended 2018 starting for the Hurricanes, N'Kosi Perry.
Reaction to the announcement was swift and in typical Twitter fashion---pretty harsh. Most of it focusing on the fact Martell made such a big deal about going to "The U" and then couldn't win the starting job.
So....since I don't necessarily take "Twitter" quotes as actual news, rather just people making jokes and talking shit because they can do it behind a keyboard, I didn't read too much into the news. Like I inferred in the previous paragraph: Just because you don't start a season as the starter doesn't mean you won't end the season as the starter....which is a lesson Mr. Martell and others should try really hard to remember.
Honestly this probably would have blown over too, unless Tate Martell did something to make even more people wonder what's going on.
Like not showing up at Practice the next day:
Maybe Martell will surprise everyone and stay at Miami, work hard and manage to find a way onto the field. Maybe he will get an opportunity if Williams falters or gets hurt.
Or maybe we'll never know because there are already rumors flying he's done and will look somewhere else for an opportunity.
I hope that doesn't happen and if it does, he has to sit out like other "Transfers". The portal is allegedly supposed to help players who for one reason or another need to be closer to home or get out of a bad situation. By most all accounts there's nothing bad about the situation at Miami other than a kid who's got it stuck in his head that he can be a starter at the highest levels of Power 5 Conference football.
Maybe that is the case and he just hasn't found the right fit. But then again, there are only a certain amount of do overs or new opportunities one should be able to get before you should be asking yourself: "Is it the team or is it me?"
I'm pretty sure we all know the answer to this question.....