Tate Martell sends cryptic tweet about quarterbacks

Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell isn't taking next season's quarterback competition lightly.

The third-year sophomore to be, projected as the Buckeyes' starting signal caller if Dwayne Haskins leaves for the NFL, will be battling several players during spring practice for QB1 honors — one of them possibly being Georgia's Justin Fields.

Fields' intention to transfer this week became national news and recent reports of Ohio State emerging as the frontrunner has Martell is his feelings on social media.

The former four-star 2017 signee appeared to draw his line in the sand toward Fields late Friday on Twitter, saying: "word of advice: don’t swing and miss ... especially not your second time."

How can you tell this tweet is in reference to Fields? Martell "liked" two responses to the message asking if it pertained to Georgia's quarterback. After redshirting as a true freshman, Martell was a package option for the Buckeyes this season and played in six games.

One could surmise Martell's "don't swing and miss, especially not your second time" references Fields failing to beat out Georgia incumbent Jake Fromm as a freshman this season.

There's also a belief Martell's tweet could be targeted at Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson's decision to return to the Wolverines for another season. Patterson made that announcement Friday evening as well.

Fields would be an ideal fit in Ryan Day's wide-open offense in Columbus, though Ohio State's new head coach has refused to speculate on the program's interest in Fields, who can now talk with other coaching staffs after entering the NCAA transfer portal this week.

Ohio State's quarterback room, at least right now, is clear — Haskins is the starter in 2019 until he decides to leave for the NFL Draft and Martell, along with Matthew Baldwin, are the primary backups.

Chris Chugunov, a graduate transfer, is another option behind Martell and Baldwin.

"Dwayne, we're going to find out in the next week after the bowl game kind of where he's at," Day said this week. "Tate and Matthew have both done a nice job in the bowl practice, and this is a great opportunity for those guys to get work and get fundamental work and get better and get reps."

In 12 games as a true freshman behind Fromm at Georgia, Fields completed just under 70 percent of his passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 266 yards and four more scores. He is currently seeking a waiver from the NCAA to play immediately in 2019, wherever he chooses to play.

"We'll always look at all the options," Day said this week when asked about transfers. "Whatever we think can help our roster. The guys who are in our program, obviously they develop and work through our program, and so those guys obviously have priority. But if there is a need and there is someone that we need to plug in there, we'll look at all those options."

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