BTN's J Leman on Tate Martell: 'You gotta compete'
Earlier this week, Tate Martell announced that he was leaving Ohio State and headed to Miami to finish out his college football career. That decision has been met with mixed reviews.
Some are wishing Martell the best, hoping he gets a chance to shine in his new home, much like Joe Burrow at LSU last fall. Others, however, have criticized the young quarterback for not wanting to compete for the starting job with incoming Georgia QB Justin Fields.
Big Ten Network’s J Leman was one of the folks more critical of Martell’s decision, and he wasn’t afraid to express his disappointment that the former No. 2 dual-threat quarterback was leaving Columbus.
“If I go to Ohio State, do I think I’m gonna compete against some nobodies, or the best athletes in the country?” Leman said. “When I signed the dotted line to be a Buckeye, I know that they’re getting the best recruits in the country. Urban Meyer did that year-in and year-out. Listen, you signed up for it. You gotta compete. This is not park district, this is college football.”
"You gotta compete!" 🗣
— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) January 17, 2019
Initially, Martell welcomed the challenge from Fields and said he had no intention of leaving Columbus. But once Fields’ decision became final, Martell decided to start looking at other options.
Martell played in a backup role behind Dwayne Haskins in 2018, appearing in six games. He was redshirted as a freshman in 2017.
The comments made by Martell about battling for the starting job and then deciding to leave the program seems to be what rubbed folks the wrong way. Still, he’s got a chance to step on the field and be the guy in Miami, so it’s hard to blame him for taking that opportunity.
NCAA transfer rules will require Martell to sit out a year, meaning he won’t be eligible until the 2020 season. However, the quarterback is appealing that decision in hopes to receive immediate eligibility and be under center for the Hurricanes in 2019.