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Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell should be able to make an impact this fall.

With Dwayne Haskins starting, how will Ohio State use Tate Martell?

Ryan Ginn

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Although it was already expected, it was still news when Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said on Friday that Dwayne Haskins will enter fall camp as the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback. He didn’t rule out the possibility that redshirt freshman Tate Martell could catch him, but it’s clear Martell will be playing from behind with Haskins getting first-team reps.

“Dwayne’s our starting quarterback,” Meyer said at the annual Ohio State job fair. “Like any position; right now, Thayer Munford’s our left tackle, but they’re competing for that spot. The better you recruit, the more competition you have.”

So what does that mean for Martell? I actually think it’s to his benefit for the likeliest result to come into play earlier. Haskins has been an overwhelming favorite to grab the job since leading the Buckeyes to a come-from-behind win against Michigan last fall, and it would take a huge upset for him to be unseated. In my opinion, it would best serve all parties if Ohio State got to spend more time in fall camp carving out a role for Martell instead of treating him like a potential starter.

He’s too good to keep on the bench all season, so he’s going to find the field in some capacity. I don’t think Ohio State will use a definite structure like rotating series or playing one quarterback in the red zone, but there will be a role for Martell in this offense.

Ohio State coaches said during spring practice that they’re working on a package for Martell, whose speed and elusiveness can give the Buckeyes a different weapon. How that package takes shape remains to be seen, but Martell could either come in situationally at quarterback or line up in the backfield or in the slot every so often. Outside of garbage time when he’s allowed to be a full-time quarterback, I think it’s fair to expect him on the field for around 10 snaps a game.

The sooner he’s able to slide into that role and embrace it, the better it will work out this fall.

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