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Patience might be important for both Tate Martell, Ohio State

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Tate Martell is looking to make an impact for Ohio State this season. (Greg Bartram/USA TODAY Sports)

Question Of The Day

Patience might be important for both Tate Martell, Ohio State

The speculation, debate and conversations about Ohio State never end, and Lettermen Row is always ready to dive into the discussions. All week long, senior writer Austin Ward will field topics on the Buckeyes submitted by readers and break down anything that’s on the minds of the Best Damn Fans in the Land. Have a question that needs to be tackled like today’s on Tate Martell? Send it in right here — and check back daily for the answers.

The speculation about touted quarterbacks who don’t have a full-time starting job is always going to jump to the possibility of a transfer. That’s just the way of the college football world at that position, and while it’s not exactly a new trend, it seems to be getting more and more prevalent every season as passers look elsewhere for clearer paths to playing time. And until Joe Burrow’s move to LSU this offseason, Ohio State had actually been enjoying a remarkable run of keeping the depth chart intact. Most notably, that turned out to be pretty crucial during the run to the national title in 2014 that included three different starters at the most important position on the field.

So, can Tate Martell show some of the same patience? And how much should the Buckeyes use when it comes to figuring out how much to get him on the field in his backup role this season?

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Tate Martell has been praised by Ohio State coaches for his maturity. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Those are two of the most intriguing questions swirling around one of the more tantalizing prospects on the Ohio State roster right now. One answer is clearly going to have to wait for a bit and will also depend on some factors Martell can’t control, like how effective Dwayne Haskins is this season and how that might impact his NFL options. But the other topic will start getting sorted out in less than a month at training camp, and how Ohio State decides to use that dual-threat weapon Martell provides is going to be fascinating.

(It’s also entirely possible that Martell’s role this season could wind up being part of his future decision-making process, but that’s getting a bit ahead of things.)

In the short term, Urban Meyer is going to have to weigh the potential benefits of getting an explosive athlete on the field in what would likely be a special package to feature Martell. On the flip side will be the risk of injury for his No. 2 quarterback on a roster that only has three scholarship players at the position. There’s little doubt that Ohio State is going to have Martell involved in some capacity, and after redshirting, he also could use some live reps simply as part of his development. But they’re going to need to balance that with the fact that the Buckeyes have no shortage of elite playmakers coming back this season, which means the offense shouldn’t exactly be struggling to find a spark like the one Martell could provide.

Martell has made it clear from his first day on campus that he came to Ohio State to be the starter, and as competitive as he is, he surely wouldn’t be thrilled with having to wait until after the 2019 season for his shot to lead the program. But maybe a guy who has been widely praised by the coaches for his maturation has a different perspective now. And when it comes to his future, Martell might look at that as a fair amount of time until his turn arrives — especially if he doesn’t have to sit out a year or leave a place he clearly loves. And if the Buckeyes can carve out playing time for him along the way? Even better.

One way or the other, though, patience looks like it will be key for both Ohio State and Tate Martell.

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Tate is better than the rest of his class which has many D1 starters. He will graduate early and will move to start at another top 10 program if Haskins is named next years starter. Other programs are already courting him.

StPeteBuck
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StPeteBuck

You’re probably right. But I contend that getting injured is worse for a future career than riding the pines a little. I think it could be a win win for him to improve his perceived weaknesses with a Pro Style coach Day, and avoid getting hurt running 15 tines a game. Since tOSU has the most 1st and 2nd round draft picks in NCAA for 25 years, he’s sure to get a look by the pros.

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Anonymous

I agree on the injury front and Coach Day being a good choice for an NFL opportunity. Tate takes a lot of pride in his perceived weakness so if they want to keep him happy and healthy they will need to get him some passing reps late in the games this year.

Brian Pratt
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I do not believe Ohio State needs to be patient in any way honestly, in getting him on the field- in his backup role, as the writer spoke or at least as i thought he suggested here. Maybe i do not understand what is being said here though, but here is why. Because the coaching staff are most certainly motivated and interested to get him in a –quarterback role -as often as they can to see just what he can do in game situations. Because if he is going to be a future q- back, as he has been recruited… Read more »

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Austin Ward is Lettermen Row's senior writer covering Ohio State football and basketball. The award-winning journalist has covered the Buckeyes since 2012, spending five of those seasons working for ESPN after previous stints at the Casper Star-Tribune and Knoxville News Sentinel.

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