6 Things To Know About Tate Martell’s Possible Transfer

Tate Martell Ohio State Football Buckeyes

Thursday afternoon, news broke that Tate Martell’s name is now in the NCAA Transfer Portal.

The quarterback has been a popular figure among Ohio State fans during his two seasons in Columbus, both for his personality and the potential of his game.

So what does being in the portal mean? Is Martell gone for good, or could he come back?

If he leaves, where could he end up next?

What would that mean for the Buckeyes’ quarterback depth?

Also: Is his full name really Tathan?

All your questions answered below, but you’re going to have to wait on the Tathan one.

What Is The Transfer Portal?

The NCAA Transfer Portal is a system that schools, but not the general public, have access to.

Players who are interested in switching schools, either as a normal transfer or a grad transfer can submit their names to let other schools know that they are officially “on the market.”

This allows schools to contact that player without fear of tampering charges. They can also pay for him to take an official visit, similar to the recruiting process for high school recruits.

The downside for players is that if they enter their name in the Portal, their current school has the option of cutting off their scholarship at the end of the current semester. That’s true even if they ultimately decide they don’t want to transfer.

Could Martell End Up Staying At Ohio State?

He certainly could. It’s not yet totally clear if Martell plans to go through spring practice with Ohio State.

If so, he might feel like he’s in good shape to win the starting job ahead of Justin Fields and Matthew Baldwin for this fall, and decide to stay.

It’s pretty unlikely that OSU would cut off his scholarship at that point.

How Likely Is He To End Up Staying?

Thursday, Martell changed his social media profiles to scrub all references to Ohio State.

His Twitter and Instagram bios now read “Quarterback at…”

He also started following three new accounts this week.

One is the offensive coordinator at Auburn, the other two are the new head coaches at West Virginia and Miami.

If you are hoping for Martell to return to Columbus this fall, those probably aren’t a great sign.

His high school teammate, safety Bubba Bolden, just transferred from USC to Miami this week. Don’t be surprised if that’s where he ends up.

Ohio State Buckeyes football quarterback Tate Martell Twitter

Didn’t He Just Cut A Wrestling Promo About Being At OSU In 2019?

Yes, yes he did.

At Rose Bowl Media Day, Martell said he was “100 percent sure” he would be the Buckeyes’ 2019 starting quarterback.

When he was asked about the possibility that Justin Fields could transfer in, he dismissed the idea that it could impact him at all.

“Why would I leave for somebody who hasn’t put a single second into this program yet?” he said. “I’ve put two years of working my ass off into something that I’ve been praying for and dreaming of my whole life. To just run from somebody that hasn’t put a single second into workouts or anything like that and doesn’t know what the program is all about, there’s not a chance.”

Was it just bluster, hoping to chase Fields off?

Did something change between then and now?

We may not know the answer to those questions until Martell makes his final decision.

If Martell Leaves, What’s Next For OSU At Quarterback?

The depth chart for 2019 would be pretty thin at that point.

Walk-on Kory Curtis, who would presumably be the fourth-string quarterback if Martell leaves, is reportedly also in the transfer portal.

That would leave sophomore Justin Fields, redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin, and redshirt senior grad transfer Chris Chugunov on scholarship.

Fields still has to have his hardship waiver approved by the NCAA in order to play this fall. That sounds like it’s likely to happen, but until it’s official, he can’t play.

Baldwin has not played in a college game yet.

Chugunov played only a handful of snaps in mop-up duty in 2018.

If Fields somehow isn’t eligible to play, and Martell leaves, then things will be pretty dicey for the Buckeyes.

They would almost certainly try to land a grad transfer quarterback to give them a fourth scholarship signal-caller.


Ohio State football quarterback Tathan MartellSo if Martell’s presence in the transfer portal was the headline, his legal name was a close second.

Yes, Tate Martell’s full name is Tathan.

After some serious acts of #Journalism (read: incredulity, followed by frantic Googling), it turns out the Las Vegas Review-Journal broke the Tathan news when Martell was still in high school.

Tafi Martell was six months pregnant and hadn’t decided on a name for her first child when she noticed “Tate” in the credits of a movie and suggested it to her husband.

But Al Martell, a former wrestler at Fresno State, wanted his future grappling champion to have a two-syllable first name.

“I told my wife, ‘When they announce a name, you need to exaggerate the first name. Tate’s too short,’” Al Martell said. “So, that’s how Tathan came about.”



29 Responses

  1. There is no argument that Urban Meyer is one of the best 3 coaches in the history of college football, however like everyone he has some shortcomings.
    One of those is his reluctance to give backup QBs playing time. Note how how Tua rarely played in the 4th Q. How many times was OSU up big over the 7 years yet the backups got only a handful of snaps.
    It is essential for a the team to have an experienced backup for those situations where the starter is unable to go. Tate should have had more playing time so that he could be more fairly evaluated. CJ and Burrows also should have had real playing time as should have Tate.
    When we were up 28 – 3 in the Rose Bowl Tate should have taken a series. By not playing him Meyer told him he was not going to play next year.

    1. no argument? unless your history means the last 20-30 years theres plenty of argument

  2. Tate has every reason to put his name in the transfer bucket and see what’s available. He’s already competed for the spot for 2 years. If he’s any good at absorbing knowledge, he’s already had plenty of opportunity to learn multiple schemes and styles, not to mention how the college game is played, prepped for and the like. This kid doesn’t have optimum NFL size, so his chances of every playing in the NFL, even if he was a proven college starter for multiple years would be slim to none. How do any of you think his chances would look after riding the pine for all 4 years? And let’s be real for a moment: the kid has no chance of being an NFL QB. So this 2 years of eligibility remaining is his only opportunity to be great, before he has to settle down and start thinking about his future. This kid IS by all reports a competitor: he won every game he’s ever started for the past 7 years of playing football. How does anybody expect a competitor to just sit back and let somebody else potentially be brought in, a “ringer” if you will, just so he can sit the bench after having toiled in the program for 2 years?
    Also, it can’t be understated that new offensive scheme and points of emphasis are on the horizon due to Day succeeding Meyer, not to mention the near-hysterical rantings of the Buckeye faithful against anything resembling a read-option style. All of this points to the sun setting on Tate’s opportunity to even compete for the spot, let alone start.

    So what if the kid didn’t do what the Buckeye faithful hoped he would do? So what if he offends your sensibilities? He’s gotta do what’s best for him. Not you. Not me. Not your grandpa. What’s best for him. All he or anybody else sees on here, even if they bother to read these comments sections, are the rankings of, by and large, a bunch of Nobodies and Never-Haves trying to tell him what’s best for THEM while all along he just needs to do what’s best for him.

    1. Rantings* I curse iOS text capabilities, most especially autocorrect, while also admitting my most recent post would be a jumbled mess if it wasn’t for that same autocorrect feature.

      1. Michael, if he was such a competitor why would he leave? He’s had 2 years with coach day’s offense. If he’s as good as he think he is. no way he would lose the starting spot with a 2 year advantage over a kid that has zero experience in the system. Gotta be more to the story. He actually believed he should have played his freshman year, (looked horrible in his first spring practice) so what does that say about him?

    2. You say, this kid by all reports is a competitor? Then why doesnt he want to COMPETE against Fields for the QB job?

  3. Watch the QB1 documentary on Martel, is that who you want to be the face of your program……

    1. Don’t care if he’s a total piece of crap as a person, or comes of as one, so long as it wins games. See Baker Mayfield…

  4. What a coward. We don’t need quitters at OSU.

  5. I think Idaho would be a perfect landing spot – but I don’t know why.

  6. My opinion of Tate Martel is completely based on what I’ve seen on the field. He’s got J.T.’s lack of passing acumen without J.T.’s always make two guys miss running style. I hope he finds a place to play, but after a year of Haskins, who seems incredibly smooth and polished he would be hard to watch. To play his style he would have to be better than J.T. Barrett who got to the CFP once and never engineered a touchdown in his only playoff game, or even a point. We’re looking for better than Barrett for his style of play, I’ve seen nothing from Martel that compares in any way. But then I’m out of Columbus and have the ability to ignore the background noise. I’m under the impression I just haven’t been exposed to a lot of the hype around this kid.

    The fact that Meyer tried to do the Cardale Jones / J.T. Barrett thing and sneak him in as the goal line option doesn’t help. He didn’t get it done. We gave up certain touchdowns putting him in. As for my unhappiness with Meyer’s coaching staff, how about that Joe Buroow. Not good enough to see the field at Ohio State. Good enough to lead LSU to a #6 finish and beat more SEC teams than tOSU ever has. I’m hoping Ryan Day will be the beginning of an era where Ohio State looks for NFL quarterbacks, and dumps Meyer’s “first choice running back” philosophy. Meyer’s attitude towards Cardale Jones is to this day completely unprofessional. He won one NC at Ohio State with Cardale Jones and to this day he can’t mention the guy without a little sneer and snort.

    Let’s see what Ryan Day can do. It’s always good to wake up with a fresh start.

    1. I’m with you on all of your opinions regarding your preferred quarterbacks. As far as Martel you’re selling him a bit short, although you did admit to not being an expert on his resume. He was a prep STUD and has played/trained with the best. He would be much better than J.T and his arm was highly thought of. Add in the fact that he is a big time winner and leader(on the field). I’ll be disappointed we won’t get a chance to witness his moxie and talent at qb for the Buckeyes. I will roll with whomever is the qb and criticize or praise as I see fit. I find the bashing of the kid or any athlete making choices that he sees best as a bit childish.

      1. He would not be able to see over a decent size line.

  7. Why not just leave the kid alone.

  8. I hope he goes. He seems to be all about himself and is afraid of a little competition.

  9. I think much of this is Tathan’s own doing. Had he not demanded an audience and told everyone within earshot that he ain’t goin nowhere – then he likely would have gotten the sympathy vote – you know poor Tate he busted his behind and the Buckeyes just tossed him aside. No, he said he would compete and honestly, that’s what everyone expected. I don’t blame the kid for pursuing his dream – and I hope (but not likely) this is a learning experience for others – social media is not your friend.

  10. I can’t understand all the negativity – in some cases, hate – directed toward Martell by some Buckeye “fans.” Yes, Justin Fields – who’s yet to participate in a single official OSU practice, let alone the spring game or a real one, is the latest and greatest thing. And no doubt he’s got a boatload of talent and supposedly will prove that sliced bread wasn’t all that big a deal.
    But he’s new to the program, I haven’t read anywhere that Fields walks on water, he’ll still have to learn the system, playbook and his receivers. So he’s not a sure thing – certainly no certainty to make us forget all that Dwayne Haskins has just accomplished.
    And what if he doesn’t succeed at achieving immediate eligibility, or were to get hurt? We might want Martell around in either of those possibilities.
    Hopefully Fields proves to be all he’s hyped up to be. But Martell has put in two years with OSU, even put himself into the record books by going 10-for-10 in one game, and obviously is a competitor. If he does transfer, all the best to him. But the disrespect some moronic fans have shown toward him is ridiculous.

    1. Bob. in your post ypu said, obviously he is a competitor. Are you serious? Hes leaving because he was told he would have to compete for the job and he said it should have been handed to him. Wow

      1. He’s competed for two years. Now he wants to play! The best choice is not always made after a “competition”.

  11. As a head coach, you don’t go after Fields to have him sit on the bench.
    As an athlete, you have to decide what is best for you and your future. Both Justin and Tate have made those decisions for themselves.
    The QB room lacks depth, but it is still healthy. Adding another option should not pose too big of a problem for the Buckeyes. I am cautiously optimistic that we are going to love the 2019 season.

  12. Don’t know what Tate will do but it’s pretty clear many OSU fans will hate on the kid if he leaves and attack his shortcomings. And if he Fields is not able to play, they’ll hype up and rally around his moxie and thank him for staying. He’s a kid, cut him some slack if he isn’t a professional on dealing with his dream not working out.

  13. Kelly Bryant transferred to Mizzou and Jalen Hurts is also in the portal.

    1. Because they got beat out. Tate doesnt even want to compete.

      1. What has he done the last two years? COMPETED!

        1. @Bill…he competed for two years and what did we see…a QB that was 4th string his first year and had Joe Burrow not transferred he would have been third string this year and you expected that earned him the starting role in 2019? Bye bye….tater…good luck at your next stop.

          1. ooopppsss that last comment should have read “and you think that earned him the started role for 2019/

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