Once upon a time, the Miami Hurricanes had many nicknames, and one of them was “Quarterback U,” due to the success they had at producing All-Americans, Heisman Trophy and national championship winners at the QB position. Bernie Kosar, Jim Kelly, Vinny Testaverde, Gino “Marino” Torretta, Ken Dorsey and several others, Miami had just an influx of big-time quarterbacks for a while.
Even after 20-plus years of excellence at QB, the same position that used to be bring so much glory and attention the U, has been a main source of pain throughout the last 15 seasons.
Ever since Ken Dorsey (AKA “the chosen one”) left following the 2002 season, the search for his replacement, or just any signal-caller that could bring a championship to Coral Gables has been fruitless.
From one end to another, the next great quarterback simply hasn’t been found, even with an extensive exploration. There has been those who gave us hope for a minute, like Brock Berlin, Brad Kaaya, Jacory Harris and even Malik Rosier, only to have championship hopes dashed. In their case, it was a primetime night in Blacksburg (Berlin), a blocked PAT against FSU (Kaaya) or a noon-game at Pitt (Rosier).
We’ve had others where the hype was there, in this case flashes of Robert Marve or Kyle Wright come to mind. With them, disappointment came in the form of trouble with the law, or losing a home game 48-0.
To save myself from having to attend anger management, I’ll refrain from continuing down the list, because depressing as it sounds, there’s even more quarterback names I can rattle off. *cough cough Kirby Freeman
I should also mention, when I use the phrase “QB curse,” I'm not implying that these were necessarily bad quarterbacks. I mean Berlin had an 11-2 season and was 3-0 against FSU. Rosier ended the Florida State losing-streak, and Kaaya is UM’s all-time leader in passing yards. Still, when we think of great Miami quarterbacks, it’s guys like Dorsey (sheds a tear) and Gino, heck even Craig Erickson that come to mind, simply because they won.
Now to the main point of my story; Tate Martell can be that guy, the next great quarterback for the Canes. The transfer from Ohio State and Las Vegas native came over to Coral Gables recently to much fun fare and even more hype.
Not only is his talent off the charts and something Miami hasn’t seen in quite sometime, but to me, the confidence he carries and charisma he possesses is something that is needed at this program. Lack of confidence is something that was evident in Rosier, and sometimes in N’Kosi Perry.
While watching QB1 on Netflix, it’s not lost on me that “Swag” was a word used to define Tate Martell.— Tim O’Brien (@HerCane86) January 18, 2019
This is destiny for sure.
Let me be a little more clear for my Canes fans, Martell has a certain swagger to him, a word more commonly affiliated with the U, and that swag seems to fit in with #TNM.
As if his transfer to Miami wasn’t covered enough, Martell has had exposure long before he stepped on campus in Coral Gables. During his senior season at legendary Bishop Gorman High School, Martell was featured in the Netflix series “QB1: Beyond the Lights.”
That being said, there’s a HUGE difference between confidence and ignorance/stupidity. Martell has also has some incidents on social media, which is something that Miami is trying to desperately move away from, especially when it’s coming from their quarterbacks.
While some may argue that his “baggage” may be a problem, I say the exposure he’s experienced will fit Miami and the Manny Diaz vibe of the U like a glove.
I haven’t even mentioned his talent on the gridiron yet. Martell is a dual-threat attack at quarterback much like N’Kosi Perry, though only appearing in six games in 2018, Martell looks like the more accurate passer (82%). New offensive coordinator Dan Enos also ran a similar offense to what Martell had at Ohio State, using run-pass options and quarterback read options.
Ohio State transfer quarterback Tate Martell in Miami yesterday: “I think it’s just a good fit for me with (offensive coordinator Dan) Enos coming in and the offense that he’s running.” At Alabama in 2018, Enos helped Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts take the next steps as passers. https://t.co/k9nMJhas9s— Garrett Stepien (@GarrettStepien) January 18, 2019
One key feature that I'm intrigued to see about Martell’s game is his deep ball, which he was praised for coming out of high school. Rosier didn't quit cut it in this deal, and we frankly haven’t seen enough from Perry airing it out deep. If Martell can nail-down this aspect of his game, with home-run threats at receiver like Jeff Thomas and K.J. Osborn, look out.
As we all know, Perry definitely showed flashes of playmaking ability in several of the games he played in, but inconsistency plus immaturity presents issues in Perry’s case. Jarren Williams wasn’t given a chance in 2018, and I expect the battle for the starting position will ultimately come down to him and Martell. Though, I anticipate Martell will be the starter for several years to come, hence this article.
@TheTateMartell is going to wreck the ACC with Miami’s talent. If he gets his appeal to play this season...it’s over for the coastal. I’m so excited— Justin White (@Justin_White91) January 18, 2019
Stats are great, and if all we cared about as Miami fans were stats, then I'd be calling Brad Kaaya possibly the greatest quarterback in UM history. But this is Miami, winning and winning championships is more important than passing yards and completion percentages. The reason we remember Dorsey is the 2002 Rose Bowl and being 3-0 against FSU. We remember Steve Walsh for the 1988 Orange Bowl and a 23-1 career record. Martell is known for his talent, but also a 45-0 record and three national championships at one of the most prestigious high school football programs in America. Yes, it was high school, but the kid knows how to win, and yes, I firmly believe Martell is that guy to turnaround the Hurricanes.