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Miami Hurricanes

Former Canes- now Bengals RB Mark Walton in more trouble

Florida Football Insiders

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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Former Miami Hurricanes star, now Bengals RB Mark Walton is in trouble, yet again, in this offseason. And, you have to wonder if this his latest arrest is going to be the end of his career, which just began last year, in Cincinnati?

The Miami Herald reported Thursday, that Walton had turned himself in to Miami-Dade Police on an outstanding felony warrant for an incident earlier in March:

From the Herald item,

Walton is being charged carrying a concealed weapon, marijuana possession and reckless driving stemming from a high-speed car chase that happened on the night of March 12 in North Miami-Dade.

According to court documents, Miami-Dade police officers tried to pull over Walton’s rented BMW because it was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic. The car abruptly pulled over in the front yard of a home in the 2300 block of Northwest 86th Street.

One officer saw Walton getting out of the car and ordered him to the ground. The speedy running back fell to the ground, the warrant said, but then “sprang to his feet” and ran off.

During the foot chase, an officer shot Walton in the back with a Taser stun gun, the warrant said. But Walton dislodged the electrified prongs, ran off and vanished, police said.

Officers searched the car and found 14 grams of marijuana, a 9mm carbine rifle and several fully loaded clips, police said. The rifle had been legally purchased by the running back, records show. Walton had also rented the BMW in his own name, police said. The officer who fired the stun gun also identified Walton as the man who led him on a chase.

This is not the only time Walton has been in trouble, since the season ended.

As we wrote in February, he allegedly got into the dispute with a woman that he did not know, and was arrested by the Miami Police Department. The incident occurred in a parking garage at Walton’s residence over a dispute about Walton’s car blocking the entrance.

When an unidentified woman apparently attempted to record Walton using her cell phone, Walton grabbed the phone and struggled with the woman trying to get it back. Walton was taken into custody on a charge of battery.

The former Miami Hurricane was a 4th round pick of the Bengals a year ago who was active for 14 games but only carried the ball 14 times on the season for just 34 yards. He had an additional five catches for 41 yards on the year.

Walton is also awaiting a third different trial on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge from January of this year.

The Bengals fired Marvin Lewis at the end of the season and have just hired former Rams offensive coordinator Zach Taylor, as their new head coach.

Walton is likely facing NFL discipline for violations of the player conduct policy and this combined with the new coaching staff could end his time in Cincinnati soon.

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Miami Hurricanes

Hurricanes QB Martell situation like “Mad Men” episode

Matt Zemek

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

“Don Draper” has some advice about Tate Martell

There is no denying the following point: Purely as a matter of analysis, Tate Martell endured a spectacular fall the past few days at the University of Miami.

A man transferred from Ohio State to get more playing time as a starter, but Jarren Williams will be the Miami Hurricanes’ starting quarterback when Manny Diaz leads The U against the Florida Gators on August 24.

Martell was beaten out by a freshman — a really good freshman, but a freshman nevertheless.

This comes after Martell talked a very big game and didn’t play nice with Justin Fields, who transferred into Ohio State from Georgia in his own attempt to get more playing time as a starting quarterback.

There is no denying the point that this is a dramatic story. It is a story of upheaval, surprise, and crushing disappointment for a young athlete who was arrogant, who has acted like a prima donna, and whose mental state right now is not easy to pin down:

It is dramatic. It is spectacular. It is soap-operatic and emotionally involving.

Are you roused? Excited? Gleeful at Martell’s demise?

There is — on a very small level — a “happy” dimension to this story. Manipulative and selfish behavior was not rewarded. I get it. Everyone can see and understand that point.

Martell has an inflated view of himself, doesn’t seem to be a team player, and simply hasn’t worked hard enough or well enough (if not both) to earn a starting QB job at either OSU or Miami. There’s a reason Urban Meyer limited him to running-QB duties for the most part, a Big Ten version of the “Belldozer” Oklahoma used with Blake Bell in red-zone situations several years ago, while Landry Jones was the “normal” quarterback for the Sooners.

If you want to be happy that Tate Martell couldn’t bully his way into getting the Miami job, and that he got his comeuppance, fine. That’s okay, as far as it goes. However, that national sense of schadenfreude — especially from the state of Ohio, but from various corners of the country — was certainly over the top on Monday.

Let’s be clear: No one was defending Martell’s behavior on Monday or at previous points in this process. His behavior was clearly poor. He certainly has to look in the mirror — not to anyone else — if he wants to improve his football career. No one would dispute that Martell has to straighten up and fly right, and that he needs to take ownership of his attitude and adjust it.

Yet, Martell’s name became a worldwide trending topic. That schadenfreude obviously flowed deep into the bones and marrow of many college football fans and observers. A lot of #CollegeFootballTwitter seemed to be laughing at Martell, rather than taking quiet satisfaction in seeing his bullying behavior go unrewarded.

Martell didn’t deserve the Miami QB job on the merits… but he also didn’t deserve to be laughed at.

The reports later on Monday that he didn’t attend practice might not actually amount to anything serious… but aren’t you at least somewhat concerned about him right now? Would a reasonable person conclude that he is taking this very hard and feels absolutely devastated?

This could be an overreaction, but it certainly isn’t beyond the realm of possibility at the moment: Is Martell mentally troubled? Phrased differently, is this merely a childish reaction on his part to losing the QB1 battle (which is possible), or is he going through more personal trouble and trauma than any of us on the outside can possibly see or understand?

The former answer might be the likely one, but the latter answer — that Martell is mentally disturbed — shouldn’t be ruled out completely… and IF that is the case, the nation’s laughter at Martell will have been severely overplayed.

This brings me to my ultimate point: Don Draper of “Mad Men” has something to say to the nation about Tate Martell.

If you watched the show, you will recall that in Season 2, Episode 9 — “Six Month’s Leave” — Freddy Rumsen drinks to excess in a downward spiral of alcoholism. He wet his pants in public. Three of the men in the office — Ken Cosgrove, Paul Kinsey, and Harry Crane — laughed at Freddy, instead of seeing the severity of his situation and the humiliation he is facing in a business setting.

Empathy and concern for a fellow human being should have come to the forefront, but derision surfaced instead.

Don chastised his three co-workers with this memorable line:

“That’s none of your business. Freddy had a bad day. Can’t you find something else to do besides dining on the drama of other people’s lives like a bunch of teenage girls?”

There is a very big difference between quietly approving of a scenario in which bad behavior was not rewarded, and — at the other end of the spectrum — taking profound pleasure in the downfall of another person.

Are there times when taking pleasure in the downfall of another person is comparatively more acceptable? Yes — when that person committed a crime and truly harmed other people’s lives. Seeing that person brought to justice and being forced to confront a lifetime of sins (or merely a set of severe sins which hurt other people) is a natural and healthy human inclination.

Tate Martell didn’t do that. He ran his mouth and had an inflated opinion of himself, as a college athlete who is trying to square himself with how the world works.

Martell has a lot to learn, and this could merely be a case of a prima donna and a bully getting a splash of cold water in his face — which will hopefully awaken him to the need to reform his behavior — but if this is something a little more serious than that, the derision which flowed through Twitter on Monday will hopefully give way to a more concerned and empathetic mindset among college football fans.

Yes, Tate Martell needs to clean up his act… but we don’t have to dine on the drama of another person’s life like a bunch of teenage girls.

Don Draper knows how to handle this latest “plot twist” in the world of Miami football.

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Miami Hurricanes

Hurricanes name Jarren Williams starting QB

Jamil King

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes have officially named the starting quarterback for the start of the 2019 season, and no, it is not Tate Martell the former Ohio State Buckeye and former 5 star recruit.

Further, it is not last years end of season starter, N’Kosi Perry.

Yes, It is Jarren Williams (shown above at the Canes Spring game), a former 4-star recruit, who was red-shirted last season.

Head coach Manny Diaz announced Monday that Williams will be under center, when the Hurricanes season begins against Florida next Saturday in Orlando:

Williams, who has been praised for having the best arm of the group, indeed used that to win this job.
And, he beat out a guy, who transferred from the Buckeyes with a lot of hype in Martell. He also could have transferred on his own, when last season he saw almost no game action, even though Perry and senior Malik Rosier were struggling to lead the offense to points.

Williams played in only one game last season, completing 1 of 3 passes for 17 yards, and running twice for 2 yards and a touchdown in a win over Savannah State.

New offensive coordinator Dan Enos brought in a new offensive system, and it seems as the strong-armed QB was the best man for the job over the up and down Perry and the elusive Martell.

Williams though isn’t a bad athlete he hit 20 miles an hour this summer and can run if needed. He threw for 3,000 yards and ran for another 500 yards in his senior year in Lawrenceville, GA, two years ago.

The question for Miami now is who is going to be QB 2 and will anyone transfer out of the program?

Martell was granted a waiver to get immediate eligibility so would he leave just as fast as he came?
Will Perry stay to fight for the job that was previously his?

Those questions could be answered over the course of August and September.

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