The recruitment of 4-star quarterback Adrian Martinez was quite the whirlwind. The long-time Tennessee commit started to waver on that choice after Butch Jones was fired and the Vols went through a series of blunders throughout their coaching search. Meanwhile, as Nebraska’s season was crumbling, rumors of Scott Frost coming home and the desire of the fan base for that to happen was ramping up daily.
Frost and quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco had their eye on the California signal-caller while they were still at UCF, but as Martinez told the media on Tuesday, the fit just wasn’t right for him in Orlando.
“They originally recruited me at UCF," he said. "They offered me a scholarship and I mainly dealt with Coach Verduzco. He flew out when he was still at UCF my junior year, and my coach talked with me and I got to know him. I really liked him but I didn’t feel like UCF was a good fit for me. Fast forward to the American Conference Championship, it’s announced that Coach Frost is the head coach of Nebraska. I get a call from Coach Verduzco about three hours later and they offered me.
"Things accelerated from there. The next day Coach Frost called me and straight up told me that he wanted me to be their quarterback recruit for the class, and 'we want you to come in and make a difference for us.'”
Something had to go incredibly right in short order for Martinez to go from being the first player the new staff offered at Nebraska to Verduzco going in-home then Martinez and his family taking an official visit to Lincoln before deciding to commit.
“Something that struck my first impression with me and my family, when we came here he doesn’t try to put on a big persona," Martinez said. "He doesn’t try and act like he’s a big coach who won a national championship here. He’s as cool and fun to be around as anyone, but yet the coach. He’s not intimidating, we can all be in the player’s lounge and he can walk in and it’s not a big deal. I feel like you can’t find that at other places.”
When I spoke to Verduzco at a recruiting event after National Signing Day, he told me that he knew they didn’t have a chance to get Martinez when they were in Orlando. You can partially chalk up this recruiting win as "the power of the N," but in the end, Martinez found what feels is a great fit at Nebraska. He simply didn’t find that fit at UCF, even though he bonded with the staff while they were there.
“I would say because the school (UCF) itself didn’t match with everything that I wanted," Martinez said about the fit in Orlando. "I wasn’t sure if those guys would leave. Coach Frost is a talented guy so I wanted to look for stability. I loved them as people and coaches, but the school itself I didn’t know if I would love. When they came here, it all lined up. Great coaches, stable situation and also the school, they are so supportive here. If you go to a volleyball game, basketball game, Lincoln natives and people of Nebraska are going to support it. It’s something that’s very special about this place.”
Frost now hopes that the quarterback he referred to as his "favorite" quarterback prospect in the country can live up to the potential he sees. Something tells me that there is something special about Martinez’ future in Lincoln.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.