Thursday's football: Ohio State QB Martell takes transferring step

Associated Press
Tate Martell

Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell might be looking to transfer.

Martell has entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal, according to a person with access to the portal. The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the database isn’t public.

Martell listing his name with the NCAA means schools are now free to talk to him about a potential transfer.

Martell, who will be a third-year sophomore, sat behind record-smashing quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. last season. He seemed to be the heir apparent when Haskins left early for the NFL draft. But then Ohio State lured Georgia transfer Justin Fields to compete for the starting spot.

Fields was the No. 1 national recruit in the 2018 class.

New coach keeps it light

New West Virginia coach Neal Brown’s lighthearted approach to football is forever captured in a 2016 dance video at Troy.

Brown dabbed while his players and assistants showed off their moves in the video that was part of a spring competition among Troy athletic coaching staffs.

Brown’s squad won.

“My 10-year-old said I was way off,” Brown said Thursday at his introductory news conference at West Virginia. “That video was supposed to be shown one time at the awards ceremony and never come out of the vault again.

“It may be the most watched video in Troy football history.”

It’s that fun atmosphere that Brown holds dear and carries with him to Morgantown. He was hired last Saturday to replace Dana Holgorsen, who was named the coach at Houston.

“I just don’t want to be miserable,” Brown said. “I look at so many people in this profession, the pressure is high. But at the end of the day, we’re coaching football. C’mon, I’m around young people all day. I approach it that way. Let’s have fun. I think if you look at what Clemson’s done. There’s nobody having more fun than Dabo Swinney right now.”

Brown is bringing some of the fun with him. Troy defensive coordinator Vic Koenning will have the same role with the Mountaineers, and a few other assistant hires made by Brown will be announced once their contracts are signed.

Koenning would rather not be involved in any more videos. The 2016 one was done to his chagrin.

“I’ve really only danced a few times in my life, and that was just to get my wife to go out with me,” he said.

Koenning does plan to sing. John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” is played on the stadium speakers after every West Virginia home game.

“I grew up a John Denver fan, so I don’t have to worry about learning the verbiage,” he said. “I’m not going to have to learn that fight song, I promise you.”

Brown will be tasked with competing for a Big 12 championship that the Mountaineers have failed to snare since joining the league in 2012.

TCU in hunt for Hurts

TCU is in pursuit of Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts, who has reportedly entered the NCAA’s transfer portal.

The Frogs are hopeful the possible grad transfer makes visits to their campus soon. Hurts would immediately turn TCU into contenders for a Big 12 title.

Key hire at Georgia Tech

New Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins has completed his first coaching staff by hiring Brent Key from Alabama as assistant head coach, run game coordinator and offensive line coach.

Key was Alabama’s offensive line coach for the last three seasons. Each of his three years, Key’s units were finalists for the Joe Moore Award presented annually to the nation’s top offensive front.

Key was a starting right guard at Georgia Tech from 1997-2000.

Extra points

Dabo Swinney won the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year award as college’s top coach for the third time in four years, after leading Clemson Monday to its second national championship in three years.

Swinney is the only three-time winner of the 33rd annual award, with Chris Petersen — the trophy holder in 2006 and 2009 at Boise State — the only other multiple winner.

... Oregon State quarterback Jake Luton has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.

... Former Louisville linebacker Jonathan Greenard has enrolled at Florida as a graduate transfer and will be eligible to play in 2019.

... Troy has hired former Auburn offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey as head coach.