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Tate Martell could give Ohio State a reason to play two quarterbacks next season.

Ohio State football: Will Urban Meyer utilize two-quarterback system next season?

Austin Ward

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Few coaches ever have been more successful handling the complicated juggling act of playing a pair of quarterbacks than Urban Meyer, and the fact that he doesn’t do it more often proves just how difficult it can be to make it work. But if ever there was a time for him to attempt it again with the Buckeyes, next season would appear to be the prime opportunity.

Dwayne Haskins is the favorite to win the starting job heading into spring practice, and all indications so far suggest he’s capable of taking the reins from J.T. Barrett to keep the Ohio State offense rolling. And while Joe Burrow’s pending decision to transfer is going to have an obvious impact on the depth chart, it’s the growth of Tate Martell and his unique set of skills that make him a candidate for a role even if he’s not getting first-team reps. Quite simply, after spending time on the scout team as a running back, wide receiver and quarterback during his redshirt season, the Buckeyes have seen his versatility and athleticism up close. They clearly don’t want to keep it bottled up again next season.

Ohio State-Big Ten-Dwayne Haskins-Buckeyes-quarterbacks
Dwayne Haskins is expected to win Ohio State’s starting job next season. (Land of 10/file photo)

How that would all work in terms of spreading around the snaps and figuring out the best ways to unleash Martell remains to be seen, and fortunately for the Buckeyes, Meyer and offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson are plenty qualified to hash that out. Throw in quarterbacks coach Ryan Day and that brain trust now has an opportunity to really get creative at that key position and potentially add some wrinkles that could cause defensive coordinators around the Big Ten some sleepless nights.

There’s always that tricky aspect of making sure the starter doesn’t lose his rhythm or that the offense doesn’t suffer from shuffling around the quarterbacks too often. And for Haskins, while he may not be the fastest guy around, it’s important to remember that he still has enough mobility to be a threat in the quarterback rush game. Just ask Michigan about that from his relief outing in The Game. Just like Cardale Jones once upon a time, what he might lack in top-end speed, he can help make up for with size that makes him difficult to bring down.

Martell, of course, is the opposite: Quick, elusive and dangerous when he gets in the open field. But it’s the fact that they both bring something different that makes it intriguing to consider them both playing next fall for the Buckeyes. And now Meyer and his staff have about nine months to start cooking up a plan.

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