The saga of Tate Martell might have finally come to an end. The former five-star, blue chip, can’t miss Elite 11 quarterback and star of Netflix’s “QB1” documentary series has opted out of the 2020 college football season. Somewhere Yogi Roth is proclaiming the Elite 11 staff teaches Grit to unsuspecting investors (you should really see the 2016 Elite 11 roster... it’s Tua, Fromm, Ehlinger, and a bunch of duds).
Martell has been much maligned since arriving in Coral Gables. He came in with a bang by making his own hype video about his potential, and was held up by the NCAA, before being cleared to play right away in 2019. Martell struggled (as did everyone) in Dan Enos’ antiquated offense and moved around between quarterback and wide receiver.
Martell took a “leave of absence” from the team during the 2019 season and re-emerged for the bowl game against Louisiana Tech. Martell finished 1-for-1 for seven yards passing and picked up five rushing yards on five attempts against the Bulldogs. Miami’s Walk-On’s Independence Bowl offensive output was one of the worst I have ever seen in 30+ years of ‘Caens fandom.
Martell was given a new lease on his Miami career when Rhett Lashlee, a spread offensive coordinator, was hired by Manny Diaz. Lashlee likes an athletic quarterback with shotgun experience who can extend plays with his legs. That was supposed to be Martell. However he was immediately beaten out by Houston grad transfer D’Eriq King, and was suspended to start the 2020 season.
In my 2020 player profile on Martell, I predicted Martell would sit behind King and N’Kosi Perry this season and transfer out for 2021. But opting out and removing dead weight from the locker room during COVID helps the Hurricanes more than it hurts.