College Football News and Notes: Disappointment For Miami’s Martell

It may not seem like it, but the start of the college football season is less than a week away. With games so close, there’s no shortage of important news stories, so let’s try to catch up before the season begins.

Disappointing Start for Martell

It was a rough week for Miami quarterback Tate Martell, who found out he didn’t win the team’s quarterback competition ahead of Saturday’s season opener against Florida. Martell transferred from Ohio State to Miami after former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields joined the Buckeyes. He was given a waiver to be eligible right away but was unsuccessful in his bid to be Miami’s quarterback this season.

New Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz announced this past week that redshirt freshman Jarren Williams beat out both Martell and N’Kosi Perry for the job. Martell was reportedly absent from practice on Tuesday but has since been offered a chance to switch positions and move to wide receiver.

The Hurricanes have a fair amount of experience at wide receiver, but switching positions could offer Martell a chance to get on the field. However, it’s unclear whether he has accepted the offer to play wide receiver, or if he will be content to begin the season as Miami’s backup quarterback.

Coach Is Questionable

There are players all across the country who are questionable to play in their team’s season opener because of injuries, but Hugh Freeze may be the only head coach in the country with the same designation. Freeze, entering his first season as the head coach at Liberty, was away from his team this past week while being treated for severe back spasms. He’s expected to return once his symptoms improve, but there’s no timeline for his return.

Practices have continued at Liberty without Freeze being present. The former Ole Miss head coach now has less than two weeks until his team hosts ACC opponent Syracuse in their season opener. If he’s able to make it back in time, it’ll be Freeze’s first game since he resigned at Ole Miss prior to the 2017 season amidst a scandal. Also, a majority of Freeze’s wins at Ole Miss have been vacated because of rules violations.

You Play for the Youth Movement

Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards appears to be fully committed to the youth movement in his second season in charge of the Sun Devils. Edwards has named true freshman Jayden Daniels as the team’s starting quarterback for their season opener against Kent State. Fellow true freshman Joey Yellen has been named the backup quarterback.

This will be just the second time that an FBS team begins a season with true freshmen in the top two spots of the depth chart at quarterback. The only other time came when Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb were at the top of the Texas Tech depth chart in 2013.

To be fair, both Daniels and Yellen were four-star recruits in the 2019 recruiting class. Both also enrolled in January, allowing them to go through spring practice with the team. The Sun Devils went 7-6 last season behind senior quarterback Manny Wilkins, who has graduated, opening the door for Edwards to turn the offense over to his true freshmen.