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Film Room: What Tate Martell brings to the Hurricanes offense

Former Elite 11 QB is headed to Coral Gables, FL

NCAA Football: Tulane at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Whether Tate Martell will play in 2019 or 2020 has yet to be determined. However, it seems like a lock that Martell will be transferring to the University of Miami from Ohio State. The Hurricanes have hit the transfer portal hard and the former five-star quarterback in Martell was a great pick up for Miami. The quarterback room needed an upgrade and Dan Enos has seen what having a mobile quarterback can do to improve an offense.


Competition is always a good thing. Five national championship trophies didn’t make their way to Coral Gables because guys were secure in their jobs. The old saying was competition at Greentree was more challenging than in the Orange Bowl. Another positive is that Martell has been coached by Ryan Day who by all accounts help mold Dwayne Haskins into a first round NFL Draft pick. Martell isn’t coming to Miami without baggage, but also he isn’t arriving without legitimate Power 5 coaching.

I also like the fact that he’s coming in from Day’s scheme. Day uses run-pass options and quarterback read options as well as motions all from 11 personnel, similar to what Coach Enos was running at Alabama with Coach Mike Locksley.

Read option

Martell is a true dual-threat prospect at the quarterback position. He’s not only straight line fast but he’s quick, too. The issue is that he tries to make too much happen because of the lack of playing time. A lot of backups get into a situation where they press because of limited time to show their skills.

Again, you want a quarterback that can run, not one that has to run. Martell can run and gets a little rushed into scrambling, but isn’t going to run first. He does a good job on the read option in the GIF below and carries the football tight to his body unlike many quarterbacks who run with it low and loose.


I’m really hoping Miami attempts to over come their poor pass protection and lack of developed talent on the offensive line by using screens like in the GIF below. A screen is the one time a quarterback’s form can get off because those are pressure throws where you’re often backing up and trying to find any arm slot to get off the throw.

Play-Action passing

Enos loves the play-action passing game and that’s a good sign for Martell as he has a nice fake and can roll in the pocket. He’s fairly accurate and even at 5’11 seeing around the defenders. In the boot game it’s all about changing your arm slot and getting your belt buckle pointed at your target. If you can do those two things you’ll complete the pass.

Deep ball

I like Martell’s deep ball until he loses his footing towards the end. Sometimes shorter quarterbacks with smaller hands will have to put a little more oomph into their throw with their lower body. I like that he pats his feet versus chopping them. The arm action is perfection with the ball close to the body and the elbow coming through long before the football which makes for accurate passes.

He’s throwing guys open and leading receivers instead of forcing them to slow or stop completely to catch his passes. I think Miami fans will see a well coached quarterback from the prep level into college who has good tools and understands the game. He’s a quarterback, not a passer or a thrower.


Tate has shown a lack of maturity, especially on social media, just what the UM quarterback room needed more of. Hopefully Mr. QB1 (no one in football uses that phrase, just to let you know) can acquire some self-awareness and become humbled by being yet another Elite 11 transfer.

Again, backup quarterbacks press too hard at times and this is an example. Ryan Day talked about how he assumed it was a fumble before he saw it end positively. However, it’s a fine line between ‘playmaker’ and ‘turnover issue.’

Again, Martell tries to make too much happen and goes against the entire blocking scheme here. Luckily he’s facing an extremely bad defense and gets out alive. When he faces off against a Geoff Collins defense at Georgia Tech, or a Clemson defense it’ll be a different story than Oregon State and Rutgers.

When your only playing time is against two of the worst programs in FBS and a controlled spring game it’s hard to break down exactly how good he’s going to be. Obviously Ryan Day wanted to bring in Justin Fields, the Georgia transfer, rather than ride with Martell now that Haskins has declared early for the draft. Fields has had even less meaningful experience than Martell.


From what I can tell Mr. Martell is going to be in the Miami quarterback room in 2019, the issue is whether he will be eligible right away or not. Martell, N’Kosi Perry, Jarren Williams and Cade Weldon should all be given a fresh start under the new regime and allowed an equal opportunity. That opportunity should be reflected by their performance in the weight room, classroom, and chat room (just aged myself, but it fit the pun-fest) as well as on the actual football field.

My personal two cents is that any player who is recruited by a coach who is fired from spousal abuse and is a known liar should be released from their scholarship without penalty. To make the matter worse, the head coach was “retired” because of the same assistant coach.