Ohio State Football: Backfield Mates in the 2017 Class

Tate Martell visiting Ohio State
Tate Martell visiting Ohio State /

2017 Ohio State recruits Tate Martell and J.K. Dobbins.

Urban Meyer landed two terrific additions to the backfield in the 2017 Ohio State class. Each player could make a major impact down the road, and one could see significant playing time next season.

Quarterback Tate Martell may be the ideal quarterback to run Urban Meyer’s spread offense. J.K. Dobbins is a guy who could possibly be a feature running back or more of an H-back type player. First let’s take a look at Martell.

Tate Martell was simply the best high school quarterback in the country, period. That was acknowledged seemingly by everybody except those who decide what the recruiting rankings should be.

Martell was only ranked the 2nd best dual threat quarterback in the 247Sports Composite. However, he won three separate National High School Player of the Year Awards.

There are reasons why Martell was so heralded. He led the Bishop Gorman Gaels to their third straight undefeated season as their quarterback and another state title. The Gaels were also voted the top high school football team in the nation again.

His individual numbers were off the chart. Last season, Martell passed completed 63 percent of his passes for 2,362 yards 41 touchdowns and only 1 interception. He rushed for 1,257 yards and 21 scores.

Tate Martell is an early enrollee but is in a loaded quarterback room so he probably won’t see the field for at least a year. But down the road, he has the potential to be an outstanding QB.

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J.K. Dobbins on the other hand may see the field this season. Like Martell, he is already enrolled at Ohio State and there is a chance he could be a backup running back or H-back.

Dobbins was the No. 2 all-purpose back in the country despite missing nearly all of his senior year of high school. The reason, his 5,000 plus rushing yards and 72 touchdowns the previous two seasons. That and the fact he had the top overall rating at the prestigious Nike camp The Opening last summer.

Dobbins is a solid 5-9, 200 pounds and can fly. He has been hand timed at 4.3 in the 40, which would probably be around a 4.4 or so if laser timed. That’s in the neighborhood of Curtis Samuel speed. Whether next year or down the road, J.K. Dobbins will be fun to watch at whatever position Urban Meyer chooses to play him.

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There are the two backfield teammates in the 2017 class. A small group but a really good one.