When Ohio State announced Georgia quarterback Justin Fields was transferring to Ohio State University, it sent a ripple effect across the college football landscape — none greater than the ripple that hit former Bishop Gorman quarterback Tate Martell. Martell, who was the projected starter for the Buckeyes in 2019 if redshirt sophomore Dwayne Haskins declared for the NFL Draft, is reportedly now listed on the official NCAA Transfer Portal.
Fields is expected to win his waiver appeal after hiring Atlanta lawyer Thomas Mars, who will attempt to get him a hardship waiver from the NCAA that would allow him to be eligible to play immediately. The No. 1 recruit in the country in 2018, according to ESPN, Fields faced spending two years carrying a clipboard for Georgia’s staring quarterback, Jake Fromm. Instead, he chose to leave amidst an ordeal that included an incident when Georgia baseball player Adam Sasser was kicked off the team for yelling racial slurs directed towards Fields. Part of Mars’s argument for a waiver will include the Sasser incident, and many believe his case is a slam dunk.
Before Fields decided to transfer, there were already whispers he would leave Georgia. Not long after, Martell declared himself the starting quarterback and threw a subtweet Fields’s way when he tweeted “word of advice: – don’t swing and miss … especially not your second time” back on Dec. 21.
With the gauntlet thrown down, Martell faces a choice himself. Stick around in a program that accepted Fields instead of telling him they already had their man and compete for the job, or he can take his game elsewhere. There is inherent risk in both decisions, but it is strikingly odd the Ohio State coaching staff not only entertained the idea of adding Fields, but seemingly assisted in his transition (he began classes Monday).
If Martell did decide to leave Ohio State for whatever reason, he’d find a robust market for his ability and potential. Miami has been mentioned as a front-runner after news broke of Martell’s presence on the transfer portal. The former Gorman quarterback is a proven winner. He threw for 7,507 yards as a three-year starter at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas with 113 touchdowns and nine interceptions under current UNLV head coach Tony Sanchez.
His skills are undeniable, which makes him a steal for the program he’d join, if he decided to jump ship. If he wanted to stay in the Big Ten, Northwestern is losing its senior quarterback, Clayton Thorson. While it signed 5-star signee Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma just lost its stud signal caller as Kyler Murray rides off into the pro baseball/pro football sunset. Plenty of options for Martell.
But why not come home? Sanchez is his former high school coach, the team is in dire need of an quarterback upgrade to go with some solid weapons on offense, the facilities are starting to take shape and the team will play its home games in the new Las Vegas Raiders Stadium starting in 2020, which would be Martell’s second-to-last year of eligibility.
Here are some reasons Martell should return home to play for UNLV’s football program:
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