LAS VEGAS, Nev. – For the most elite prospects in the country, a class distinction is only a minor aspect of the recruiting equation. Top-flight talent is identified early, and collegiate recognition is soon to follow.
For five-star quarterback Tate Martell, this level of apparent stardom is nothing new.
Back in middle school, Martell received mass amounts of attention for his ability to coil up and launch a football from his still developing 8th grade frame. Before entering high school, Martell took full advantage of his recruiting leverage, committing to the University of Washington and accepting a full-ride scholarship before throwing a single pass at the varsity level.
Martell’s case is not uncommon, however, but neither was his eventual choice to decommit and further evaluate his options. Martell reopened his recruitment in January.
Since that time, Martell has collected offers from Michigan, Alabama and Texas A&M—three programs that would eventually factor mightily in his collegiate decision. After some more time on the market as an uncommitted prospect, Martell decided to narrow his list to five schools recently: Washington, Michigan, Texas A&M, Alabama and USC.
After throwing for 2,537 yards and 40 touchdowns last year at Bishop Gorman, any of these programs would be elated to welcome the standout passer into its future offensive huddle.
Last night at 10 p.m. EST, Martell ended any debate regarding his impending decision and announced his commitment to Texas A&M.
— Tate Martell (@TheTateMartell) August 21, 2015
Martell caught up with Bleacher Report’s Daymon Sayles to discuss his pledge to join the Aggies squad in two years.
“It was a difficult decision, but I now know exactly where I want to go,” said Martell. “I think it’s the best decision I’ve made so far. It’s a great school, and I think I’ll do well there.”
According to Sayles’ report, Martell felt inclined to commit to Texas A&M last month while on an unofficial visit to campus. Martell chose to hold off and announce at a later date.
Martell, who was named to the 2014 ALL-USA second team by USA Today, comes from a program chalk full of top talent at Bishop Gorman. Martell’s five-star teammate, wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey, is another top-20 recruit in Martell’s class, and the dynamic combination have talked extensively about continuing their connection at the next level.
“Yes, we have thought about it and we’ve been negotiating a lot about the process,” Lindsey told Today’s U. “I’m considering them how I consider every school right now. I’m taking my time in this recruiting process and am looking forward to exploring these universities. I haven’t even visited Texas A&M yet, but for sure I will.”
In a recent interview, Lindsey mentioned that his dream school, Oregon, had recently offered. Despite the Ducks’ overture, Lindsey also said that Texas A&M is one of the most active programs in his recruitment, fueling the fire that the two stud recruits may play together at the next level.
As of now, Martell is the pioneer commit in Texas A&M’s 2017 recruiting class but the Aggies should be in good hands under center for quite some time. In 2014, Texas A&M landed five-star quarterback Kyle Allen before signing five-star passer Kyler Murray in 2015. The Aggies have yet to secure a commitment this cycle, and it will be interesting to see if that changes moving forward.
At 5’11” and 180-pounds, Martell does not have the prototypical size to play quarterback in college, but neither did former A&M gunslinger Johnny Manziel. Martell comes in as a much more polished passer mechanics-wise, but the comparisons are presently available.