When five-star quarterback Tate Martell originally committed to Texas A&M last August, it looked like an ideal match. Martell loved the big time football atmosphere and what Texas football was all about, had a great relationship with Coach Sumlin and then OC, Jake Spavital and was an ideal fit in the Aggies shotgun spread offense that was similar to what he ran at Gorman.
Things began to unravel for the Aggies following a disappointing season when not one but two former 5-star QBs, Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray transferred out of the program and Spavital was let go and hired as the new OC at Cal. In January, the Aggies hired Noel Mazzone from UCLA to be their new OC and you immediately had to wonder how he and Martell would click.
UCLA never offered Martell a scholarship while Mazzone was the OC and the feeling was he always preferred taller quarterbacks. Making things more interesting, Mazzone offered Tua Tagovailoa a scholarship his first month on the job and the Aggies would offer two more quarterbacks earlier this spring.
Now with the transfers the Aggies had, there is no doubt they needed to bring in more than one quarterback in this year's class but typically, a staff will give their current QB commit a heads up that they're doing it and that didn't until after the fact. In the mean time, Martell took a few unofficial visits on his own, checking out Ohio State, USC for Junior Day and UCLA as well.
When Martell tweeted out a couple of weeks ago that he was planning to take all of his official visits, something you never see committed quarterbacks do, you knew the writing was on the wall. Sure enough, Martell de-committed from the Aggies Wednesday night and the big question is, where does he go from here?
One school that we know will be on his short list is the Buckeyes. Martell loved his trip to Columbus, has a close friend and teammate, Haskell Garrett, already committed and his god-brother, Tyjon Lindsey, has the Bucks in his top five as well.
Oregon is another school we know Martell would have interest in if the Ducks offer a scholarship. That was a school Martell was very high on early in the process and he's an ideal fit in the Ducks offense. Oregon is also on the short list for Lindsey and it's interesting timing that Martell chose to de-commit from A&M the day after Ryan Kelley de-committed from Oregon, opening that spot up.
A dark horse candidate for Martell could be UCLA. Several UCLA commits were tweeting at Martell two weeks ago and we don't think that was by coincidence. He's a kid who thrives in the spotlight and playing in a big media market like Los Angeles is something we know is intriguing. He could take a visit to Westwood next weekend and, if the Bruins decide to go all in, we think there's a good chance they could land him.
Cal with Sonny Dykes and Spavital running the offense is another school you have to at least watch out for. As mentioned, Martell has a great relationship with Spavital and is probably closer to him than any other coach. He fits the system very well and how many schools can say they just had their former QB, Jared Goff, go No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft.
We're sure there will be several other schools that will jump on Martell and the timing of when he plans to commit is something worth watching. Most schools want to have their quarterback locked up by the end of the summer. Will a school hold off taking the commitment from a player who's ready to commit in hopes of landing Martell later in the fall, if he indeed follows through on his desire to take official visits?
If a college is planning to bring in two quarterbacks this year, that could work but it remains to be seen how many schools out there want to use two scholarships on a quarterback or if Martell wants to come in with another signal caller. It will definitely be a fun recruitment to watch with plenty of twists and turns between now and when he early enrolls in time for Spring ball.