Everyone has already anointed Justin Fields as the next starting quarterback at Ohio State. The former 5-star prospect hasn’t even been granted eligibility for the 2019 season yet and folks are expecting him to be a contender for next year’s Heisman Trophy.
There hasn’t been much love or respect given to current Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell, who’s spent the last two years in Columbus learning from the likes of J.T. Barrett and Dwayne Haskins.
Big Ten Network analyst Howard Griffith explained recently why people shouldn’t just assume that Fields is going to be the guy in Columbus next fall, even if he is given clearance for immediate eligibility by the NCAA. He expects Martell to put up an incredible fight for the No. 1 spot.
“Tate Martell has been in the system, he’s been there for two years, understands what’s expected out of Ohio State from the quarterback position,” Griffith said. “Fields is coming in. This is going to be a new situation. Everyone’s anointing him as if he’s going to be the starter, he hasn’t been to a workout yet.
“This is going to be a fierce quarterback battle. Tate Martell is going to give this job away. He wants to be the starting quarterback and he expects to be the starting quarterback.”
Both Martell and Fields were used sparingly in their respective roles in 2018. Martell played in six games for the Buckeyes, completing 23-of-28 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 128 yards and two scores.
Fields played backup to Jake Fromm at Georgia this past season. He appeared in 12 games, and converted 27-of-39 pass attempts for 328 yards and four touchdowns. Additionally, he rushed for 266 yards and four scores.
Both Martell and Fields have the skill set to fill the vacancy at Ohio State. It should make for an interesting spring.
Let's say UGA transfer Justin Fields is eligible immediately. He's @OhioStateFB's QB, right?
Not so fast, says @HowardGriffith.
"Tate Martell isn't gonna give this job away; he wants to be the starting quarterback, and he expects to be the starting quarterback." pic.twitter.com/O398WcyT0J
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) January 9, 2019