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Tate Martell’s Eligibility Makes Him a Heisman Longshot at Miami

University of Miami mascot Sebastian the Ibis throwing up The U.
The U has found its quarterback in Ohio State transfer Tate Martell, but his Heisman odds are very long due to eligibility issues. Photo by User:B (Wikimedia Commons) [CC License].
  • Tate Martell has announced his transfer to the University of Miami.
  • Martell will need the NCAA to grant him eligibility in order to play in 2019.
  • Are Martell’s long Heisman Trophy odds worth considering?

College football’s transfer season is in full swing, and Ohio State’s Tate Martell is the latest big name to swap schools.

Martell, a four-star recruit in 2017, was prompted to find a new team after the transfer of Georgia quarterback Justin Fields to the Buckeyes just three days prior.

Martell may not even be eligible to play for Miami this year (more on that later), and his Heisman Trophy odds have taken a massive hit as a result.

Odds to Win 2019 Heisman Trophy

Player Team Odds to win 2019 Heisman Trophy at Bovada
Trevor Lawrence Clemson +200
Tua Tagovailoa Alabama +400
Jake Fromm Georgia +1000
Justin Fields Ohio State +1000
Travis Etienne Clemson +1200
D’Andre Swift Georgia +1400
Jonathan Taylor Wisconsin +1400
Justin Herbert Oregon +1400
Sam Ehlinger Texas +1400
Ian Book Notre Dame +1800
Austin Kendall Oklahoma +2200
Jerry Jeudy Alabama +2500
Najee Harris Alabama +2500
Shea Patterson Michigan +2500
Tee Higgins Clemson +2500
Rondale Moore Purdue +3300
Adrian Martinez Nebraska +4000
KJ Costello Stanford +4000
Tate Martell Miami +4000

Just seven days ago, his average odds to win the award were +1300, which raises the question:  Is now the time to invest in Tate Martell?

Martell’s Eligibility is not the Only Concern

The biggest obstacle Martell faces is whether or not he’ll be able to obtain a waiver from the NCAA to play immediately rather than sit out the mandatory one year.

However, even if he’s granted eligibility, he’s joining a program that recently lost its head coach Mark Richt, and was a mess offensively in 2018.  The Hurricanes ranked 13th in the ACC in total offense, 12th in passing yards, and 9th in points scored.  Their leading rusher, Travis Homer, is turning pro, and they’ll need to rely heavily on Martell if they have any hopes of challenging conference rivals Florida State and Clemson.

Make Tate Great Again

Fortunately for Canes fans, Martell has a pedigree that suggests he might be able to restore their relevance.

Martell was 43-0 as a starter in high school, throwing for over 7,500 yards and 113 touchdowns, while adding 35 more scores as a rusher.

He played only sparingly at Ohio State, but shined while he was on the field.  Martell completed 23 of 28 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 128 yards and two more scores.

He’ll have the luxury of throwing to his high-school teammate Brevin Jordan and Jeff Thomas, Miami’s leading receiver last season, who is returning to the team after being dismissed in November.

But this is a less talented team than the Buckeyes and he’ll have to learn a whole new offense, under a new head coach.

Is a Martell Wager Worth the Money?

There’s a reason why Martell’s odds were so much shorter last week.  He’s an unbelievable dual-threat talent, but there’s so much uncertainty surrounding his situation at Miami.

If word leaks that he’s eligible to play this season and his odds are still this long, then he’s definitely worthy of consideration. Until then, I’d rather invest in a more proven commodity that I know will be on the field.

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