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Las Vegas quarterback Tate Martell is being described by some as the “next Johnny Manziel,” mostly because he’s 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, can make some exciting plays with his feet and, Martell says, because he’s white.
So he gets it and understands the similarities.
The only thing? Martell doesn’t have any interest in being the next Johnny Manziel. He’d much rather be Russell Wilson.
“I think I’m more of a fundamentally sound quarterback compared to Johnny,” Martell, a junior at Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman HS, told USA Today’s Nicole Auerbach. “I’ve seen film where he just doesn’t do anything with his feet. He does weird stuff with it. I think I’m more orchestrated where I can drop back and throw the ball like a normal pocket passer. I compare myself more to Russell Wilson because he’s more in the pocket, can make plays with his feet when he needs to.”
Martell notes that Johnny Football was a “great player” but yet he’s pretty critical of him and clearly thinks he’s better (he may be right).
“I’m just more fundamentally sound as a quarterback where I think that’s where he’s lacking right now,” Martell told USA Today. “You can see it in the NFL. He’s always played kind of lackadaisical and loose where quarterbacks they need to be quick with their decision and stuff like that.”
Martell’s parents are cool with the Johnny Football comparisons but are quick to point out their son is not like Johnny when it comes to off-field behavior. Um, what’s the problem here, mom?
The Manziel comparisons will only increase if Martell commits to Texas A&M and becomes part of Kevin Sumlin’s 2017 class. The Aggies are among the five schools he’s considering when he’s expected to make his verbal commitment on Thursday (USC, Michigan, Alabama and Washington are the others). He committed to UW after seventh grade and then backed out when Steve Sarkisian left for USC and he realized it’s idiotic to choose your college at 13 years old.
Here’s to hoping Martell becomes his own college football star. If he brings even half of the excitement Manziel did, we’ll be huge fans.
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. Notre Dame CB KeiVarae Russell cleared by NCAA
This was expected news about Notre Dame’s best cornerback, but you never know with the NCAA until things are official. Russell missed last season due to an academic suspension and now returns to a loaded defense, which is huge news for those thoroughly on the Notre Dame playoff contender bandwagon. Meanwhile, defensive end Ishaq Williams, who was caught up in the same academic scandal as Russell, is still waiting to hear back from the NCAA on his appeal and has yet to be officially cleared. What’s the timetable for that decision? Who the hell knows.
2. Big injuries at UCLA?
At UCLA camp, three different starting offensive linemen got dinged up in practice the other day, and the Bruins eagerly await the medical evaluations. Hopefully none of these issues are serious, because the Bruins are a legit Pac-12 and possibly College Football Playoff contender this year. UCLA leads the league with 18 starters returning, and I want to see what Jim Mora can do with a stocked team and one of the most anticipated freshman quarterbacks in recent memory.
3. Why Oklahoma is a great sleeper pick to win Big 12
Joel Klatt stopped by The Audible with Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel to talk Big 12 and other college football things, and he explained why he thinks the Sooners are in for a big bounce-back year. OU is Klatt’s sleeper pick to win the league. Listen to him explain the pick here:
Here’s the full podcast with Klatt:
A few other stories for when you’re pretending to work today:
Stewart Mandel looks at Georgia’s case as a College Football Playoff contender. Meanwhile, Georgia added another big recruit to its 2016 class, which could be a top-five class nationally. Quietly, Mark Richt goes about his work while he enters yet another season with UGA supporters whispering if he’s still the right guy for the job.
Speaking of freshman quarterbacks, Arkansas and Florida are said to be leaders for Ricky Town, who left USC this week before reaching Week 1 of his first year with the Trojans. Town was formerly committed to Alabama before backing out and signing with USC.
Cool story from Ross Dellenger on stud LSU linebacker Kendall Beckwith, who away from the field is “nothing but an old cowboy” who breeds, trains and rides horses.
Some guy in Tuscaloosa was waiting for traffic to pass and decided to shoot drone footage of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium. Cool video. On a side note, how many Bama fans are softly weeping while watching this, whispering to nobody, “Y’all, she’s the most beautiful gal I ever seen.”
Have a great Wednesday, everyone.
Teddy Mitrosilis works in social content development at FOX Sports Digital. Follow him on Twitter @TMitrosilis and email him at email@example.com.
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