Tate Martell doesn't need your sympathy. The now-21-year-old has blazed his own path, from a former 5-star and perceived prodigy to Ohio State signal-caller to Miami backup.
On Monday morning, the Hurricanes announced via their Twitter account that freshman Jarren Williams would get the starting nod over the high-profile transfer. Despite many assuming that Martell would earn the call, a lackluster Spring Game performance carried over into summer practice, with Williams showing out over the likes of veterans Martell and N'Kosi Perry.
Martell's confidence has long rubbed fans the wrong way, as he's assumed far too much about his abilities which has in turn put extra pressure on the Poway, CA native. That pressure unfortunately hasn't been handled well by a kid, who, despite showing glimpses of what he can be, has never quite displayed the consistency needed for a Power-5 starting QB.
This is the same kid that committed to Washington and Steve Sarkisian in middle school, only to decommit and choose Texas A&M in high school and finally switch sides one more time and head to Columbus in 2017. Martell is a wary lesson for all highly-touted high school "generational talents." Until it's proven on the field at a level higher than glorified 7-on-7s, nothing is handed to you at this point.
While I'm certainly not shedding any tears, Dan Wolken makes a valid point -- Martell is a victim of circumstance, and he's handled it rather poorly. Martell's been challenged three times in his college career; twice at Ohio State upon losing the QB competition to Dwayne Haskins, only to eventually leave Columbus after the incoming transfer of Justin Fields and lose the starting QB job in Miami to a freshman.
Worst of all, though, is the narrative Martell's created for himself. Martell's argued for a hardship waiver due to a former assistant coach's domestic violence case that while inconvenient for the Ohio State football program, paled in comparison to the impact felt by Courtney Smith and her children, or even Urban Meyer for that matter. He's allegedly called a fellow QB -- Texas A&M's Nick Starkel -- "ass" in a leaked direct message, which, while an invasion of privacy, still shows a stunning lack of awareness and respect for his counterpart.
Hell, even upon transferring to Miami, Martell's infamous tweet foreshadowed to his current predicament. "Don't swing and miss...especially not your second time," Martell stated.
After the Monday morning news drop, Martell's name was trending for all the wrong reasons, with college football fans using his failure as a launch pad to make fun of the transfer portal, and his infamous false confidence which for so long made us believe he was destined for stardom.
Martell isn't a villain, and the shade being thrown at him shouldn't be mistaken for vitriol. Trolling a collegiate athlete should not be confused with criticizing a minor. We are not bullying a helpless victim, but instead providing a talented athlete more motivation to make this a minor setback for a major comeback, as Miami is choosing to go with an unproven commodity at quarterback in part because they know what they have in both Martell and Perry as the backups. Either one could surely earn an opportunity if things go sour, and if they approach the challenge with the right mentality. Martell ought to embrace that, for once.
This will not be the last you hear of Martell, for better or worse.