The saga of quarterback Tate Martell and his college landing spot goes back to when the Las Vegas native was 14 years old. It was then that he verbally committed to the University of Washington, only to decommit when former head coach Steve Sarkisian left the program to take the same job at USC. Three years later, Martell chose Texas A&M as his next destination, but he decomitted from there earlier this year amid turmoil within the coaching staff. Finally, Martell chose Ohio State as the place where he’ll play college football next year, allowing us to focus more on his otherworldly talent on the field.
Martell can do a lot. He’s rated the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the nation by ESPN for a reason: His legs do almost as much damage as his right arm. Last season for Bishop Gorman High School, he rushed for 604 yards and nine touchdowns on top of throwing for 2,608 yards and 32 touchdowns.
One of the biggest criticisms of dual threat QBs, though, is that their accuracy throwing the ball can be sub-par. Michael Vick’s inaccuracy eventually became his undoing. After a rousing rookie season, Robert Griffin III was unable to step up his accuracy when he could no longer rely on his legs to get out of trouble. Martell will have to continue to hone his accuracy as the talent level of his competition improves in college, but he’s gotten pretty good at fitting footballs into pretty tight windows.
Take the above video, for example, in which Martell, after rolling to his left and weaving through a series of cones, sticks the football just to the right of a target a hundred feet or so in front of him. The football doesn’t go through the middle, sure, but the pass is incredibly accurate nonetheless, especially for a quarterback who’s on the run when he throws it.
If you need to see the football go through the target, then peep the above video of Martell’s workout at the Elite 11 competition earlier this month. On the move again, running left, then back around to his right, he throws the pigskin directly through the target.
In live action, Martell’s accuracy shines just as bright. Watch his first throw in the video above as he launches a rocket into the hands of his wide receiver moments before the cornerback arrives on the scene. That’s one of the tightest windows you’ll see on the field.
Martell’s footwork has a lot to do with his ability to make throws like that one. Even when he’s scampering away from the pass rush, he’s usually able to reset himself before throwing a pass. In the insane drill shown above, Martell (in the black visor) barely misses a beat as he scampers around three trash cans with two other players at his heels. His feet are always moving, and he moves through the drill with grace.
How Martell fares at Ohio State remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: he is not your prototypical running quarterback.