Nebraska will be without quarterback Adrian Martinez in 2022 for the first time in four seasons. Martinez—who started at the position since his freshman season in 2018—entered his name into the transfer portal in early December. That means coach Scott Frost and Mark Whipple, the Huskers’ new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, will be looking for a new starting quarterback for the 2022 season.
The Huskers have Logan Smothers—who saw limited playing time in 2021, including a start against Iowa—and Heinrich Haarberg. They also have Richard Torres, who just signed his letter of intent with Nebraska on Wednesday. Frost said Torres went under the radar during his recruitment, adding that he has “elite arm talent.” While Torres will enroll early and seems to fit what Frost and Whipple want to do on offense, Nebraska doesn’t appear to be done adding to its quarterbacks room.
In fact, Frost said that Nebraska is leaning toward taking another quarterback from the transfer portal. However, Nebraska will “look at every kid we can” that’s in the transfer portal, with a primary focus on quarterback.
“It has to be the right one,” he said during the Huskers’ signing day press conference on Wednesday.
More news and notes:
>> Frost said he isn’t sure yet about the positions for Gage Stenger (QB/LB) and Brodie Tagaloa (TE/DE). Stenger, for example, is considered an athlete by Nebraska at this time.
Stenger echoed Frost’s words following his signing day ceremony on Wednesday, saying he’ll continue to work on his throwing techniques and quarterbacks skills through the winter but he’ll be prepared to switch positions if need be.
“If quarterback doesn’t work out, I’ll be switching to the defensive side,” Stenger said. “Hopefully safety and nickel.”
>> Nebraska will be looking to fill some key spots at defensive back in 2022 and Jalil Martin could certainly help. Frost said he felt Martin was under recruited “a little bit and we’re really glad we got him to Nebraska.”
>> On the offensive side of the ball, Frost shared that Victor Jones Jr. has elite speed and potential.
>> With winter conditioning set to begin in January, Frost has some players in mind that he’d like to see step up into leadership roles. Frost would get into specifics or mention names, but said he’s started having individual meetings with certain players.
>> What made Frost want to hire Whipple at offensive coordinator? He said that “Whip” can go into a room and take over the offense. He also credited Whipple’s experience calling plays at an elite level, which put Frost at ease as he gives up play calling himself.
As for new offensive line coach Donovan Raiola, Frost pointed to his teaching ability. Frost called it “modern” and added that it’s “what I believe in.”
Frost added that he’s “really looking forward to starting fresh with that group of guys,” which also included wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph.
>> Nebraska still has an open position for a running backs coach, but that may not be the only change remaining. Frost could look at adding a special teams coach and said he’s “real close” to having that settled. He added that he believes Nebraska will be coached well at both running backs and special teams no matter how the final spot is filled on the staff.
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.