Texas A&M: Martell Decommitment Not End of the World
- Updated: May 10, 2016
It’s no question Texas A&M has had some trouble trying to hold onto high quality QBs. Just last December both Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray choose to transfer from the school to seek other opportunities to be QB somewhere else. For Allen, the Houston Cougars. For Murray, the Oklahoma Sooners. Both of their departures left the depth chart to be dangerously thin, leaving Jake Hubenak as the only scholarship QB on roster.
Trevor Knight made it a little easier on the Aggies when he transferred in from Oklahoma for his final season. With only one year of eligibility left however, the future at QB was going to come from recruiting.
Tate Martell, a 5-Star QB and the #1 Duel Threat in the 2017 class, was deemed to be the next big thing. He had the arm of Kyle Allen, the running ability of Kyler Murray, and the elusiveness of Johnny Manziel. He was deemed Johnny Manziel 2.0 when he committed to the Aggies in August of 2015.
With the catchy hashtag #GigEmGang17, he recruited for Texas A&M at a totally level than what we had seen in the past. He was going to piece together the perfect recruiting class to come with him to Texas A&M. Guaranteeing his commitment to the Aggies until the very end, Martell was the most committed kid in the country.
Until he wasn’t.
For those who follow recruiting closely, Martell’s decommitment was the worst kept secret in the country. It wasn’t a matter of “if” he would decommit, but simply “when”. For those who don’t follow recruiting, it was as shocking as news can be, leading to a lot of negative emotions being expressed on the night of his decommitment.
It’s hard to imagine that kids who make such a commitment (for lack of a better term) to a school can change their minds so quickly, having started a recruiting movement, guaranteeing the impossibility of a decommitment, and being a heavy favorite to start for Texas A&M as a Freshman, only for it all to come down crashing down one tweet later.
But one must remember, he’s a KID. In High School. He’s also one of the most sought after QBs in the country. Things change in recruitments. Relationships are severed.
Take for instant the domino that fell after Martell’s decommitment: Mannie Netherly. The night of Martell’s decommitment, WR coach Aaron Moorehead proved that even coaches get lost in the emotions of a decommitment by sending out a flurry of tweets calling out “recruits” for disloyalty and being afraid of commitment. In all of the emotion, Mannie Netherly made his decision to decommit, claiming he didn’t want to play for “my position coach” knowing now what he is really like.
Netherly had been labeled as a soft commit, and like Martell it was only a matter of time until he decommitted. Moorehead just finally gave him his excuse.
On top of all of this, the tweets from Moorehead caused a number of recruits to drop Texas A&M from consideration. With Netherly, there is still a good chance Netherly could end up an Aggie. With Martell, it’s more than just a tweet.
Martell committed to Jake Spavital. Simple as that. Once Texas A&M severed ties Spavital, it damaged the commitment of Martell. The hiring of former UCLA OC Noel Mazzone damaged it even more. The lack of communication between Mazzone and the Martell family destroyed whatever was left. The decision was made. Martell was gone.
It’s safe to say Martell wasn’t Mazzone’s ideal QB. Mazzone has never coached a QB under 6’2″, and with the wave of QB offers that went out once Mazzone was hired, it was evident he didn’t plan on ending that streak now.
Regarding Martell, with 9 months left in the 2017 recruiting cycle, Mazzone and Texas A&M can easily sell to another top QB the opportunity to start Day 1 and get another QB on board with the program. With a number of QBs still uncommitted and with serious interest in Texas A&M, the team doesn’t live and die with Martell. Granted, it’s not fun to lose a QB the caliber of Martell, but it’s not the end of the world.
Sumlin’s seat is as hot as they come in football right now. Sumlin needs to lock down his QB of the next 4 years in this cycle. Chances are, with another underwhelming season, Sumlin won’t even live to see the end of the recruiting cycle. But assuming he still is Head Coach by February, he needs to find and lock down his QB. Martell might be gone, but it’s not the end of the world for Texas A&M. There are still a ton of options.