Passing up on the best (according to 247sports.com) 5-star dual-threat quarterback may seem nuts, but in the case of Miami and Tate Martell, it's not.
The Class of 2017 signal caller recently released his top seven schools via twitter, with Miami making the cut. The list was not in any specific order, and also featured USC, West Virginia, UCLA, Colorado, Ohio State, and Cal.
My Official Top 7 (No Order)— Tate Martell (@TheTateMartell) May 31, 2016
Although it seems lucrative to pursue such a highly touted quarterback, it may be best for Mark Richt and his coaching staff to pump the breaks on Martell's recruitment. The Hurricanes 2017 commitment list already features two highly touted quarterback prospects: 4-star dual-threat N'Kosi Perry (Ocala, Fl.) and 3-star pro-style passer Cade Weldon (Tampa, Fl.).
Though they are not "5-star" talents, both Perry and Weldon have not reached their peak potential. At some point in the near future, Weldon even has the ability to be viewed as more of a 4-star product. Both quarterbacks are still perfecting their game, and can grow under coach Richt's system. Martell is more of a plug and play type of guy, with little plasticity in terms of developing his game. What you see, is what you get. But, with that being said, Martell is a stellar athlete.
Martell is a great system player, and a team like West Virginia seems to be a better fit. He can have free-reign to improvise and do as he pleases. Mark Richt and his staff are looking for a coachable quarterback, who will buy into their game plan, one that is methodically thought out, not improvised.
In comparison to Martell, who measures in 5'10.5", both Perry and Weldon have better frames (Perry standing at 6'3", and Weldon measuring in at 6'2.5"). Martell has been able to dominate the high school level with a smaller, more compact frame, but at the next level it will be interesting to see if he can dominate with a smaller stature.
Looking at the teams featured on Martell's list, five out of the seven teams do not have a quarterback pledge yet (USC, Cal, West Virginia, Colorado and UCLA). It's obvious that these teams will push harder, and appeal more to Martell, just based on necessity at the position. With two, solid Florida raised quarterbacks on their pledge list, Miami is sitting well and really has no need for Martell.
Instead of chasing a wild stallion that won't be tamed, Miami should break in their new, committed quarterbacks. Perry is a tremendous athlete. He has the accolades to prove it, having won the FHSAA 6A Player of The Year award, after totaling 43 total touchdowns (33 passing, 10 rushing). A raw talent with a long, slender frame, Perry can develop into a leader and physical specimen if he comes to Miami.
Cade Weldon is the son of former FSU QB, Casey Weldon. He spurned his father's Seminoles to put on the Green and Orange. That alone shows his passion for this program. Despite suffering an ACL and MCL in August of last year, Weldon has bounced back, developing into a true pro-style passer. The Weldon family also has history with Mark Richt, dating back to Richt's days as a QB coach at FSU, where he mentored Cade's father.
Another thing to consider is the level of loyalty and commitment from Tate Martell. He was once committed to Texas A&M, however he later dropped that commitment. Do we really want to pursue a guy who has already dropped a team? We almost lost N'Kosi Perry once. Pursuing Martell hard may leave a sour taste in Perry's mouth. It's best advised to really show Perry and Weldon how important they are to the remodeling of this program.
If you listen to interviews, Martell's mind seems to be really set on going to Ohio State. He told Bill Kurelic of 247sports.com that the system the Buckeyes run really reminds him of the one ran at Bishop Gorman (prime example of why he is a SYSTEM quarterback).
Ultimately, it seems Martell will stay in the West, with four PAC-12 schools in the mix. OSU may land him, but Miami just doesn't seem very high on his radar, and there's no problem with that.
Many fanbases and coaches would dream about having two ultra talented quarterbacks who are truly committed to their program. However, for Miami, that's the current reality. And that reality is just fine by me.
Just hours after this piece was published, Martell released a new top 6 list, one without Miami.
Narrowing it down... TOP 6!— Tate Martell (@TheTateMartell) June 3, 2016
•WEST VIRGINIA pic.twitter.com/kxGbx4ZxLw
Seems we were right about this one, guys.