Ohio State QB Devin Brown Cites Tate Martell, A Taboo Name In Columbus, As One Of His Idols Growing Up — Seriously

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Where most college quarterbacks of today grew up wanting to play like Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers or Michael Vick, Ohio State quarterback Devin Brown is different. His idol is no longer playing football in any capacity.

Brown, a five-star recruit in the Class of 2022, was a true freshman with the Buckeyes last season. He enters his second year with the program in a quarterback battle with Kyle McCord and recently switched to an unusual jersey number that reflects one of the most famous players in NFL history.

It was a unique number choice, but Brown is atypical in a lot of ways. To some extent, he marches to the beat of his own drum.

That doesn’t take away from his on-field talent. Brown is a talented quarterback both as a passer and a runner. He can sling it with the best of them and scoot more than he might lead on.

As such, it would make sense that Brown would have grown up watching players that have an uncanny ability to extend plays. Guys like Russell Wilson or Steve Young or even John Elway.

This is where Brown is different. Earlier this week, when he was asked about his inspiration growing up, Brown threw out a name that literally nobody would have expected.

Devin Brown said that he learned from Tate Martell in high school.



Martell, currently 25, retired from football after the 2021 season. His career is amongst the most interesting case studies in college football history.

Martell was a former five-star recruit in the Class of 2017, who starred on the Netflix show ‘QB1: Beyond The Lights’ with Jake Fromm, Spencer Rattler and others. He was supposed to be a star.

At the age of 14, Martell committed to Washington. And then he flipped to Texas A&M. And then he flipped to Ohio State.

After two years in Columbus, as a backup, Martell entered the transfer portal with some controversy. Justin Fields decided to transfer from Georgia to Ohio State.

Martell was very vocal about the looming competition.

He famously said:

Why would I leave for someone who hasn’t put in a single second into this program? To just run away from somebody who hasn’t put a single second into workouts anything like that and doesn’t know what the program is all about, there’s not a chance. I will [be the starting quarterback]. I am 100 percent sure on that. I am not just going to walk away from something that I have put so much time into and there is not a chance that I won’t go out there and compete for that.

— Tate Martell in 2018

Two weeks later, Martell hit the portal and transferred to Miami. Upon arrival in Florida, he lost the starting job and switched to wide receiver. Then back to quarterback.

In 2020, after being suspended to start the year, Martell opted out. In July of 2021, he transferred to UNLV.

Martell appeared in only two games because of injury while in Las Vegas. He then retired.

The curious case of Tate Martell is amongst the craziest, weirdest careers in college football history. And he is not particularly well-liked in Ohio, where Brown plays today.

For Brown to say that he grew up watching and learning from Martell is weird, but a testament to the modern era of technology and superstardom. For a few years, Martell was the guy. And then he was nothing. Poof.

For Devin Brown to say that he grew up watching and learning from Martell as a Buckeye is downright eye-popping. Tate Martell?! Really?!

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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