Tate Martell came clean Thursday, admitting he had, in fact, purchased Twitter followers, that The New York Times report listing his name was accurate. Martell purchased followers from Devumi, a company that sells likes and retweets from robot social media accounts.
The Ohio State quarterback didn’t seem awfully concerned by the news, though. He had, after all, purchased the followers when he was in high school, he said.
“Oh yeah for my old account,” he said to reporters. “When I was 16 I was like, ‘Let’s go buy some followers.’ I think I got like 2,000 followers from them.”
His story checks out. He said he bought the followers for his old account, @tate18martell, which currently has less than 1,500 followers. A Twitter audit of his new account, @TheTateMartell, which is nearing 80,000 followers, shows 94 percent of his followers are real.
Some questioned why Martell didn’t immediately respond to the report implicating him.
“I was like, ‘If I reply to it, it’s gonna make it look it look like it was real,'” he said. “So I was like, ‘Whatever.'”
Martell, of course, has more pressing things on his mind. The redshirt freshman is firmly in the mix to win Ohio State’s starting quarterback job, if Buckeyes co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ryan Day is to believed. Day said Thursday the competition many thought just included Dwayne Haskins and Joe Burrow is “not just a two-person race.”
“Whoever is out there moving the team down the field is going to play,” Day said.