The story of how Nebraska landed 4-star QB Adrian Martinez seems like one we will be telling for a while around here. Not just because he is the first quarterback commit of the Scott Frost era or because he is a talented player, but because everything had to just fit perfectly for it all to happen.
In an interview on Hail Varsity Radio Thursday, Chris Schmidt caught up with Martinez’ high school coach George Petrissans who gave great insight into how it all happened and how Martinez will fit the Hukers' new offense.
“When we came in, we implemented an offense that is a tempo offense. It was patterned off of Oregon and some of the things they were doing," Petrissans said. "We snap the ball within about 5 seconds of the ball being placed. So, I know the tempo that Frost has implemented in Oregon, has at UCF and I’m sure will be similar at Nebraska will be a fit. Adrian knows how to play fast. What also is a fit, in the run game he implements a bunch of quarterback runs where the QB has to read defenders and whether or not to pull on the run and when not to. I think that’s going to be a huge fit for Adrian because that’s a learned skill that a QB’s eyes are on the end man and line of scrimmage, he is reading whether or not to give the ball to the running back or pull it and run it around the corner. That’s one of the best things that Adrian does. He can be involved in the run game.
"On top of that, with the run game part, he’s not afraid. In fact, he wants the ball. There were a lot of times as a junior we were in a lot of situations in fourth-and-1, he would be calling for the ball. He wants to make that play to extend the drives and he’s not afraid to get hit. In fact, he will make people miss or he will go through them. He’s a very dynamic runner. He’s got extremely good speed. I would think he is around the 4.5 (40-yard dash) range. As far as the pass game is concerned, I saw a lot of opportunities that are similar because Coach Frost does a lot of run-pass option where the QB has to read to make the pass. In our offense, we did a lot of the same type of things.”
Later in the interview, Petrissans detailed just how it came to be that the interest level seemed to pick up so quickly between Martinez and Nebraska.
“When Coach Jones (former Tennessee head coach) got fired, it caused some issues there. That’s when Adrian was like 'OK, I’ve got to open up a little bit more and start to figure out if there is another place that might fit for me. We had touched base with Coach Verduzco while still at UCF. I wanted to see if there was any interest over there from them still. Coach told me, 'let’s wait until Saturday, I can only talk to him then.' That was after the Memphis game. That’s when Coach Verduzco reached out and called Adrian and offered him for Nebraska when all that news came out.
"From that point forward Coach Verduzco was awesome. So was Coach Frost, about making it a priority that Adrian Martinez was their guy. It really made him feel special. It really made him feel at ease. During that UCF game, I actually was texting Adrian saying 'are you watching this game,' this is the perfect fit for you as an offense. He told me, 'I know it looks great.' So, when that game was over and Coach Verduzco offered him, it was pretty cool.”
The recruitment of Martinez really does seem like a situation where all the stars aligned for Nebraska. As we enter the Frost era, this will become a very good story of how dedicated and detailed this coaching staff is when they lock onto a prospect.