Sunday, April 19, 2015

Martell calls the shots

Former San Diego County resident and ex-University of Washington commit serves as Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) offensive coordinator - in football cleats

Tate Martell of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) doesn't just torch defenses with his right arm and legs, he's the one drawing up the plays and calling the shots for the Gaels (photo credit Max Preps). 

At a young age, Tate Martell would use his spare time pulling out sheets of paper and drawing football plays on them.

Now a sophomore in high school, Martell still has stacks of plays that he carries with him  in his pocket or on a wrist band. But his coaches aren’t the ones who call the plays for Martell and the offense.

It’s the Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) signal caller picking and choosing what to run.

The 5’11” Martell - who played at Poway High School in the San Diego region during his freshman year - is unlike any high school quarterback out west. He not only leads the Bishop Gorman aerial assault, he’s the conductor of the Gaels’ football orchestra.

Martell revealed his ability to take command of an offense in front of California's best at Passing Down’s So Cal regional on March 29 in Fontana. It was Martell yelling out the schemes and adjustments to his wide receivers while lining up against some of the Golden State’s top prep players.

Martell then showed his decision making and big right arm, as he averaged between 3-4 passing touchdowns per game at the renown state 7on7 tournament while attacking the coverage lapses he saw in the defense.

Martell said he enjoys playing the role of offensive coordinator in football cleats.

“It’s fun. I have a good time with it,” Martell said. “You can call whatever you see and I can check off whenever I need to. It was actually my idea for us (Bishop Gorman) to do that. I created the whole offense myself.”

Martell - who's a Class of 2017 prospect and finished 2014-15 with 2,537 yards, 40 touchdowns and two interceptions for the 15-0 Gaels - adds that calling the offense gives him an edge with playing the cerebral game against defenses.

“It helps me with the mental part of the game. I like that a lot,” Martell said. “I have to see what defenses do. That way, I can figure out who they’re trying to cover and what coverage they’re in.”

When Martell isn’t telling his teammates what play they’ll run on the football field, he still goes home and adds more schemes to the Gorman playbook. The Gaels mainly run a zone read offense with quarterback keeper plays or an empty package that spreads out the offense with four or five wide receivers.

He’s starting to heat up on the recruiting trail just like the Vegas sun. Martell, who once committed to a football scholarship at Washington at the age of 13, currently holds five offers. USC, Arizona State and Texas Tech are among those schools in the mix to pilfer Martell. Despite de-committing from Washington, he still holds the Huskies’ scholarship pledge.

And while he’s been labeled one of the top prospects in the Class of 2017, Martell believes he can improve on the field.

“Everything I do, I just want to be efficient at,” Martell said. “I just want to be better at everything.”

(Editor's note: Martell has committed to the 2017 U.S. Army All-American game, which was announced on Sunday, April 19.)

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