Manny Diaz: Tate Martell has changed culture in Miami Hurricanes QB room

CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 02: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 02: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

During an appearance on the Golic and Wingo Show on ESPN on Tuesday morning, Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz stated that Ohio State transfer quarterback Tate Martell has changed the culture of the QB room.

The battle to be special Miami Hurricanes starting quarterback has brought out fierce and contentious debates from the fanbase. Everyone has an opinion on who should start. Tate Martell has been praised throughout his time in Coral Gables for his leadership ability and quickly learning Dan Enos’ offense.

N’Kosi Perry was voted the MVP at QB this spring. Martell played poorly throughout the spring until the 13th or 15th practice according to Diaz. Martell played much better in the shotgun than under center.

]Jarren Williams is the third Miami QB who is challenging to start this fall. Developing a good passing game is critical for success in 2019.  Perry shared QB last season with the graduated Malik Rosier. Both struggled as the Miami passing game was one of the worst in FBS.

Perry had a pair of off-field missteps that Diaz discussed in meetings with the media last week at ACC Kickoff. Martell has changed the culture for the Miami QBs and created a greater work ethic.

There is a lot of misinformation about the reason behind Martell’s transfer. The transfer of Justin Fields from Georgia to Ohio State coupled with Urban Meyer’s retirement led to Martell leaving the Buckeyes for Coral Gables. Martell was not going to be given a fair shot to compete against Fields to be Ohio State’s starting QB.

Meyer’s departure from Ohio State means the Buckeyes will not use the spread offense nearly as much with Ryan Day taking over as head coach. Martell’s strength is his ability to run and improvise in the passing game. Ohio State’s offense under Day wouldn’t have utilized Martell’s strengths. Diaz discussed Martell on Golic and Wingo.

"“Tate Martell, in addition to what he can do on the field with his athleticism and his ability to to make plays with his arm and his feet, we looked at Tate as a gym rat, he’s an excellent X’s and O’s guy, he’s a guy that loves the game and he’s always in his playbook.We thought he would help change the culture in our quarterback room.On January 1st we weren’t sure we had a quarterback on our campus we thought we had talented guys like N’Kosi Perry and Jarren Williams were very talented but we just felt like that room lacked the maturity level to really lead a program like the University of Miami.”"

Martell was slow to adapt to learning Enos’ offense. He struggled under center this spring and was erratic throwing the football. When Enos put Martell in the shotgun and about four to five weeks into spring practice things finally clicked. Diaz spoke to Manny Navarro of The Athletic about Martell’s progression this spring.

"“For Tate, it was Day 13…Tate came out Day 13 and 15 and just was dealing and walked off the field feeling very confident about himself. It kind of changed his demeanor. He went to Orlando (for the spring game) and, in my opinion, played very well.”"

The biggest impact for the Miami Hurricanes in the passing game is not from Perry, Martell or redshirt freshman Jarren Williams. Diaz expects Enos knowledge and skill set working with QBs to be the biggest impact on how the Miami Hurricanes throw the football in 2019.

"“The best recruit we signed was Dan Enos, because Dan comes in, he’s got, you know just great knowledge of the quarterback position and puts the guys in position with all of the offense but there’s always a need for the quarterback position.After the spring game we thought we might have three guys on our campus capable of leading the Hurricanes so I cannot wait until Friday when we start practicing.”"

Next. Manny Diaz clearly disappointed in Perry's off field behavior. dark

The Hurricanes have 32 days before they play Florida. They will play two scrimmages before that. Miami commences spring practice on Friday night. The Miami starting QB will be determined between now and August 24 with who performs the best in those scrimmages and practices, who knows the playbook and who is the best leader.