Video: Tate Martell Ultimate Highlights
See some of the top plays from the Bishop Gorman senior quarterback.
At 6 years old, Tate Martell
started out as an offensive tackle. He then moved to tight end and then to receiver.
But he found his true calling as a quarterback by the age of 10. It's where he belonged.
Martell is a natural-born leader, and on top of his rabbit-like quickness, rocket right arm and robust knowledge of the game, it is his leadership ability that makes the Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
senior the 2016 MaxPreps National Football Player of the Year.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder led the Gaels to a 15-0 record, eighth-straight Nevada state title and a clean sweep of the MaxPreps national championships, both in the Xcellent 25 human and computer rankings, both presented by the Army National Guard.
Martell, an Ohio State commit, completed 136 of 215 passes for 2,362 yards with 41 touchdowns and one interception. Ranked the second-best dual threat quarterback in the country by 247Sports, Martell also rushed 146 times for 1,257 yards and 21 more scores.
For all his highlight reel plays on the run — he was initially compared to Johnny Manziel but more recently Russell Wilson — Martell's ability to make sound decisions in a hurry is what sets him apart.
Over the course of his career at Bishop Gorman, he completed 60 percent of his passes (393 of 652) for 7,507 yards with 113 touchdown passes and just nine interceptions. Martell also rushed for 2,294 yards and 35 touchdowns, giving him a grand total of 9,801 total yards and 148 touchdowns.
Martell beat out a handful of more-than-worthy, do-everything quarterbacks for the award: Cam Akers of Clinton (Miss.), Shawn Robinson of DeSoto (Texas), Charlie Brewer of Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) and Tim Tawa of West Linn (Ore.), all of whom led their teams to state titles.
"Even if it looks like he's escaping a burning building, he just makes plays," Gorman coach Kenny Sanchez said. "It's not by accident. He practices hard, he grinds it out, he's a competitor. He's someone you can count on. All the intangibles, he possesses."
The only number Martell carried about was 43-0 as a starter and 45-0 overall. Gorman carries a 54-game win streak into next season, the second-longest in the country behind Kimberly (Wis.) at 56.
What's most impressive in Gorman's win streak, particularly in 2016, were the teams it defeated. Consider these squads which all at one time were ranked in the national Top 25: Cedar Hill (Texas) 44-14, Cocoa (Fla.) 46-10, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) 35-20, Kahuku (Hawaii) 35-7, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 25-24 and Liberty (Henderson, Nev.) 84-8.
That's a cumulative score of 269-83. Bosco finished No. 5 and St. Thomas Aquinas No. 6 in the Xcellent 25 rankings.
"There's no waver in Tate," Sanchez said. "And his teammates see and sense that. He's so confident in himself and in them."
Martell said it simply was a matter of preparation combined with talent and focus. For three seasons, his coaches demanded a daily and weekly commitment and the players bought in.
"I've put in enough time to know what I'm capable of and I know how much work our team has put in to know that with our talent and chemistry and coaching, I just don't think we can lose," he said.
And they didn't. Martell didn't. It was a perfect storm. He leaves Gorman considered one of the most accomplished high school quarterbacks ever, along with Kyler Murray of Allen (Texas), Chris Leak of Independence (N.C.), Jake Browning of Folsom (Calif.) and Brock Berlin of Evangel Christian Academy (La.).
"It's just cool to be mentioned in the company of any of those
guys," Martell said. "It makes me realize how much we've all