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#pounditTuesday, October 19, 2021

14-year-old quarterback Tate Martell commits to Washington

Tate Martell is only 14 years old, but he is already planning for the future. In fact, he’s planning for the distant future. Martell is a quarterback who lives in San Diego and is about to enter the eighth grade. He is unsure about what high school he will attend, but he has already given a verbal commitment to the University of Washington. He would begin playing college ball in the fall of 2017.

As you can see from his highlight reel, Martell obviously has rare ability for his age. His decision is not final and could change at some point over the next four or five years, but the youngster said he was excited after meeting with Washington coach Steve Sarkisian.

“I really didn’t expect it to happen at this point, at how young I am,” Martell told The Seattle Times. “It’s just weird, weird — but really cool. I’m looking forward to it. It’s a great opportunity.”

Martell cannot sign a written scholarship offer until his senior year of high school, so he has plenty of time to think about it. His father, Al Martell, said he has no problem with his son making the commitment and doesn’t understand why any parent would.

“You put this opportunity in front of 100 14-year-olds, and I guarantee you that you are at probably 100 percent (who would take it),” Al said.

He’s probably right, but it just seems crazy from the school’s perspective. So much can change over a four-year period. It’s not the first time this has been done, however, as USC once received a commitment from a 13-year-old. We have seen basketball programs make similar offers and professional soccer teams recruit players who are even younger. While it’s nice to see children understand the importance of planning for the future, you have to wonder if conversations like the one Martell had with a Division-I football coach undermine the value of being a kid.


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