How Ohio State Will Look If Tate Martell Is Quarterback

How Ohio State Will Look If Tate Martell Is Quarterback

BuckeyeWire

How Ohio State Will Look If Tate Martell Is Quarterback


How will the Ohio State offense change now that J.T. Barrett is gone? We’re taking a look at how things will look with a different quarterback under center. This time, we examine the offense with Tate Martell calling the shots. 


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How Ohio State Will Look If Tate Martell Is Quarterback

We’ve already looked at what the offense could look like with Dwayne Haskins pulling the trigger but what happens if he doesn’t grab the starting spot as many expect?

Joe Burrow is another guy that could grab a hold of the opportunity, but we’re going to focus our attention on Tate Martell. He was one of the top quarterback recruits in the nation coming out of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, NV in 2017.

The Preference

Urban Meyer loves himself a guy under center that can keep options open. Alex Smith? Check. Tim Tebow? Double-check. Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett. Check all day.

Here’s the deal. Everyone with a decidedly Scarlet and Gray wardrobe believes that Dwayne Haskins is going to be the next man up in 2018, and there’s good reason for it.

Haskins showed what he can do by making life miserable for Jim Harbaugh once again when he came into The Game last fall and orchestrated a second-half comeback to notch another victory over TTUN. He showed poise and accuracy beyond his years.

But Haskins doesn’t have that game-breaking ability on the ground. That’s not to say he’s a sumo wrestler running from clothes out there, but he’s not the electric athlete Braxton Miller was, and doesn’t quite have the bulldog approach to running between the tackles like Tebow or Barrett.

But you know who does? Mr. Martell.

He’s A Playmaker

He might be a little undersized at 5-11, 205 lbs. but so was Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. Remember those guys? How’d that turn out?

Look, it’s way too premature to compare Martell to guys of that caliber, but what everyone should know is that his ability to keep plays alive and then scramble around to make something out of nothing will make the coaching staff give him a hard, hard look beginning — now.

He has a little Johnny Manziel (minus the partying and bail bonds) and a little Russell Wilson in him, it’s just that Buckeye Nation has yet to see much of the kid-wonder because he’s been spending most of his time making people look foolish on the scout team.

Remember — Tate Martell was the national Gatorade Football Player of The Year in 2017. As in the entire population of high school players that year.

On The Ground

So what will we see if he wrestles the starting job away from Haskins and Joe Burrow?

We got to see a lot of designed runs and draws from the quarterback position with J.T. Barrett, and you can expect to see more of that. It’ll likely be less between the tackle stuff, but more along the lines of the packages we witnessed with Braxton Miller slicing and dicing up opposing defenses.

If we rewind back to those highlight-reel days, Miller often had QB sweeps and option spread plays that would get him out on the outside in space where he could use his athletic ability to playground it up a bit and make plays.

You would likely see the same with Martell, and maybe just maybe the installation of some run-pass options to boot.

Through The Air

So that’s Martell’s legs, what about his arm?

To be fair, he doesn’t have quite the arm strength and accuracy that Haskins, and to some extent Burrow have, but it’s still pretty good. Also, when you can make things happen with your athletic ability and the linebackers and back seven have to be ready to help in run support, or the defense takes one guy to spy out of the equation, receivers often have an easier time getting open.

Hmm, maybe there’s a reason all six in the projected two-deep came back.

From there, it’s just putting the ball in a good enough spot to move the chains and get positive plays, not fitting it into a tight window. Besides, Martell has time to continue to develop that part of his game.

Creativity With Others

But let’s not forget about the running backs here either. In an offense being conducted with Martell, it probably means a little less carries from J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber, but it does open up a whole new set of possibilities.

The offensive coaches could throw in some option, or get all three in the game at the same time and maybe split one of the three out wide and do a Wildcat scenario. In a sense, it allows the coaching staff to be a little more creative than what you’d have more of a prototypical drop-back passer.

Of course none of this matters if the prospect of Martell becoming the starter isn’t realistic. Well, if you believe what Meyer is preaching from the Buckeye pulpit so far, he’s going to get a fair shake at it.

Meyer has already mentioned that the QB derby is off and running and that all three (Haskins, Burrow and Martell) are in a wide-open competition. It has started in earnest now and will likely go at least into the fall depending on whether someone separates or not.

Could it be Tate Martell? Absolutely. Does Haskins have a leg up because of his time in real-game situations? You bet. Could Burrow have a fantastic spring and fall and get right back into it after missing time because of injury. Of course.

But I for one wouldn’t count out the kid from Las Vegas. To do so would be a big gamble.

 

Contact/Follow @BuckeyeWire for continuing coverage of Ohio State stories, news and notes.

 

 

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