Who’s in the transfer portal?

Published 4:44 pm Friday, January 11, 2019

There are a few high-profile names that have gone through the NCAA transfer portal in the past couple weeks. A few have risen some eyebrows, others are expected.

Probably the most controversial transfer this season is former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields, who is now enrolled at Ohio State. Fields signed and enrolled early with the Bulldogs with the hopes—or perhaps expectations—that he would be starting for Georgia last fall. Incumbent quarterback Jake Fromm held onto the job all season, with Fields sliding in for certain plays and cleanup duty.

After the SEC Championship, word got out that Fields was discontent with how he was treated during the season. Fromm was the starter, but maybe fair and accurate evaluation wasn’t given to him, some argued. Rumors swirled that Fields claimed Georgia’s coaches didn’t know what to do with him. A few weeks later, his name appeared in the transfer portal. After the Sugar Bowl, it was released he would be transferring to Ohio State, and likely, but not guaranteed, to be granted a waiver that allowed him to play immediately and not sit out a year.

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That leads us to the next name in the transfer portal: Tate (or Tathan, as the portal revealed his full name to be) Martell, the five-star quarterback Urban Meyer recruited to Ohio State out of Las Vegas. He has served as a backup for two seasons. Two things are clear now: Meyer is no longer coach at Ohio State, and Justin Fields appears to be all but guaranteed a spot on the starting roster (I don’t think he would choose Ohio State to transfer to if he wasn’t granted the waiver).

This is an interesting nugget of news, chiefly because Martell was on record saying a few weeks ago that he was certain the starting job at Ohio State was his. Not only that, but he said he “didn’t care” to get to know Justin Fields. Dramatic, I know. But it tells me the kid is afraid of competition, feels entitled to the starting job and has an overall bad attitude. So he’s leaving. From what I’ve heard from Buckeyes fans, that isn’t such a bad thing.

A third name that has appeared in the transfer portal is Jalen Hurts, some quarterback from Alabama. Nah, I’m just kidding. If you barely pay attention to football, you know who Hurts is. The guy who was 26-2 as a starter for Bama. The guy who got benched in the National Championship game for the backup. The guy who came in during this year’s SEC Championship to lead the Crimson Tide to victory. That guy.

I have to say, despite my opinions about some quarterbacks leaving when they don’t see immediate playing time in their future, I don’t blame Hurts one bit for putting his name out there. The kid wants to play NFL football.

He can’t do that riding the pinewood for his last season. He needs an up-to-date highlight reel and experience. It’s clear that Tua has the starting job on lockdown, and so what does Hurts have left to do? It’s not like he’s a wide-eyed freshman.

He just graduated, for crying out loud!

With one year of eligibility left, he needs to make the most of it. I’ve heard talk of him landing anywhere from Florida State to Oklahoma. Regardless of where he goes, that team will be getting a heck of a player.