It's been a rough week for Texas A&M recruiting.
Earlier this week, 5-star QB recruit Tate Martell from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas decommitted from Texas A&M. Shortly after Martell announced his change of heart, A&M WR Coach Aaron Moorehead had a meltdown on Twitter about a lack of loyalty among recruits and it was pretty bad. It was so bad that it cost A&M two other top recruits when Mannie Netherly decommitted and Tyjon Lindsey, the number 5 wide receiver in the country, tweeted that he will no longer consider A&M.
UCLA is one of almost 20 schools that have offered Martell a scholarship and it didn't take long for speculation to start that A&M's loss could be UCLA's gain. After all, Martell would be entering college in the Fall of 2017 which would be Josh Rosen's junior (and likely final) season at UCLA. Jim Mora could bring in Martell and redshirt him with the intention of starting Martell when Rosen leaves for the NFL. Of course, speculation has started everywhere from Columbus, Ohio to Berkeley as to where Martell might decide to go.
But, the speculation that he could end up in Westwood isn't the only UCLA angle to this story.
Rivals' Adam Gorney has an interesting article about Martell's decision. Gorney spoke with Martell's father who basically said that his son's decision to decommit from Texas A&M started soon after former UCLA Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone was hired at A&M.
But, the elder Martell went much further than that. He went as far as to lay blame for the decision right at Mazzone's feet. Gorney quotes Al Martell:
It was different with Mazzone with the whole communication. 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.
Martell tells Gorney that he raised that concern to his son.
Martell continued on:
It’s a first wherever we’ve gone. A lot of times when we go someplace it’s, ‘Oh yeah, come over to my office. The two of you or the whole family let’s talk, let’s chew it up, let’s get to know each other.’ I’ve literally went seven days of being there with Mazzone as the OC (and) I’ve talked to him for five minutes.
The article speculates that Mazzone might not like Martell's size, mentioning that Mazzone has never had a quarterback shorter than 6'2" in his entire career. Martell is currently 5'11".
But, whatever Mazzone's motivations, it appears to have cost Texas A&M another 5-star quarterback after the Aggies had two former 5-star QBs transfer out of College Station after last season and it's leaving many wondering whether Kevin Sumlin how much longer he will be the head coach there.
Obviously, this won't affect this year's game against the Aggies in College Station, but Martell's decommitment certainly means that he won't be A&M's signal caller next year when they visit the Rose Bowl.
Regardless of where Tate Martell chooses to go to school, this story just seems to reinforce the fact that UCLA is much better off without a coach like Noel Mazzone on staff. But, then again, that's something we already knew