Tate Martell, the No. 1-rated dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2017, de-committed from Texas A&M Wednesday night. The decision, according to Martell’s father Al, had a lot to do with a communication breakdown between the Martells and new Aggies offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, who was hired from the same position at UCLA in January.
“It was different with Mazzone with the whole communication,” Al Martell told Rivals’ Adam Gorney. “Mazzone had been there two weeks for our visit in January, he had been there maybe all of 10 days, so I get it. If the guy didn’t want to talk a whole lot, he’s still feeling out his job and his co-workers and his staff and where he fits in.
“I get that but when you go out a month later, for two days on that trip, didn’t talk to him once and then when we were there in March for their scrimmage, again, we were there for four days and not once did Mazzone ever talk, and I was five feet from him. Not a handshake, not anything.”
In addition to the communication issue, there was also a concern over the Aggies offering two other quarterbacks. Class of 2017 four-star quarterbacks Jack Sears and Ryan Kelley recently picked up offers from Texas A&M, which worried Al Martell about his 5-foot-11 son’s favor with Mazzone.
“In his 35-year coaching career, I don’t think he’s coached anybody under 6-2,” Al Martell told Rivals. Tate Martell’s de-commitment, in conjunction with Texas A&M receivers coach Aaron Moorehead letting off a string of tweets questioning the loyalty of recruits, preceded two other highly-rated recruits distancing themselves from the Aggies. Four-star receiver Mannie Netherly backed off his pledge, and five-star wideout Tyjon Lindsey announced that he would no longer consider Texas A&M. Both had personal relationships with Martell.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin addressed the entire ordeal on the SEC West teleconference Thursday.
“Let me say this, I was made aware of it and I addressed it with Aaron and we’re still working through that,” Sumlin said. “He’s taken responsibility for his actions and we’ll move on from there. Basically, that discussion has been had and Aaron has taken full responsibility and we’ll talk about it from there.”