Tate Martell names a leader

Sophomore signal caller Tate Martell took another unofficial visit to USC this weekend, and while he has been to campus before, this trip covered everything from film study, to depth charts and the future of the Trojans offense.

Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman sophomore quarterback Tate Martell has visited USC several times, but as Martell contemplates making a commitment before his junior season, every face-to-face meeting is an important one.

Earlier this spring, Martell visited USC unofficially with no coaches on campus. It was a very realistic view of student life in the middle of the bustling metropolis. Saturday, Martell’s visit was different.

“This time I met with Coach (Clay) Helton one-on-one,” said Martell. “We went through the offense and watched film.

“We talked about the academics parts of the schools as well and just went into more detail about things. I spent most of my time with Coach Helton.”

In that meeting, Martell discussed the evolution of the Trojans’ offense.

“Coach Helton talked about how they want to get the ball out quicker in the passing game and are adding stuff that will transition the offense for a dual threat quarterback,” said Martell. “They want to do a lot of zone read, but with quick passes too.

“That’s obviously something I’m familiar with because that’s the type of offense I’m in now.”

Last week USC received a commitment from 2016 quarterback prospect Matt Fink of Glendora (Calif.). Fink himself is categorized more as a running quarterback than a pure pocket passer.

“Coach Helton told me the plan was to take one 2016 quarterback and then one 2017 quarterback,” said Martell. “By the time I’d got there, USC would have four or five quarterbacks on the roster.

“It would depend if Max Browne stays for his redshirt senior year. Jalen Greene is also switching positions, so that’s another guy who won’t be there.

“I guess I’m not really worried about it. I mean, I’ve been third string in two other situations and ended up starting. I was third string at Poway and ended up starting as a freshman. I did the same think last year as a sophomore.

“I was third string and worked my way into the starting spot. I’m not worried about the competition part of my decision on a school.”

This month, Martell has seen numerous college coaches come through Bishop Goman High School. From USC to Alabama to Texas A&M, Martell will have plenty of options to choose from come February 2017.

“I’m building good relationships with all of the coaches and they all want me to come out this summer,” said Martell. “I’m having a good time with it.

“I go out every day and try to compete. I want to be as good as we can as a team first of all. But you do know the coaches are watching you and it helps you to focus in so you can do your best.”

As recruiting picks up this month and then quiets down over the summer dead period, Martell will have decision to make. He can end the recruiting process and make a commitment, or he can continue to entertain more scholarship offers.


“I was thinking at one point that I was going to commit before the start of my junior season, but right now I honestly don’t know,” said Martell. “I know I still want to see some more schools and I know that I have a few schools on the verge of offering. So I really have no clue when I want to decide.”

Martell originally committed to Washington two years ago with Steve Sarkisian as the head coach. While he is wary of making another hasty decision, Martell does know which school he favors the most at present date.

“SC is my No. 1 school right now,” said Martell. “I like the school and I feel like it fits me.

“I do want to keep my options about and I need to see some other schools still. Coach Helton even said he wanted me to see some other schools, so I was sure I found the best fit.

“You don’t want to commit to a school you don’t want to be at later on. Hearing Coach Helton say I should visit other schools was good. It’s about finding the right fit and he encouraged me to see what out there before making my decision.”

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