Like many of his peers at Nebraska, freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez looks physically different than when he first arrived on campus. That can be credited to his hard work, as well as guidance of head strength coach Zach Duval and the strength and conditioning staff.
Martinez is listed at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds in the 2018 Nebraska media guide. He shared Wednesday that he camed to Lincoln in January weighing 198 pounds. That weight could have affected his speed, but Nebraska quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco doesn't believe it has.
"It hasn’t appeared that way to me at all," Verduzco said. "Obviously Coach Duval is probably as conscious of that part of our quarterback profile as anyone here in this building. Certainly I haven’t seen that. And I think the moment that Coach Duval sees that he’s going to back off or take care of it however they want to take care of it."
There is typically a physical maturation that takes place with incoming freshmen to any program. While Martinez’s growth in that area is substantial, it’s also not surprising.
With that in mind, he'll also have to take steps forward mentally if he wants to win Nebraska's starting quarterback position. That's why he spent plenty of time in the playbook this summer.
“We had player run practices a couple times a week where we did 7-on-7 then obviously the quarterback test,” Martinez said. “So we were studying and keeping a good check on things throughout the summer. Beyond the technical aspect, we worked every day we could with the strength staff.
"We know what it takes as quarterbacks. You have to study. If you don’t study, you won’t be as good on the field.”
As far as growth since spring, Verduzco wouldn't comment specifically on one quarterback over another. However, it's clear Martinez's work over the summer has not gone unnoticed.
“Like any young quarterback that is learning a new offense, which you can say about [Tristan] Gebbia or [Andrew] Bunch, they are all starting from ground zero," Verduzco said. "No matter how old they were, it would have been the same case for a young guy learning a new offense. They are progressing really well in terms of the knowledge.”
Verduzcois comfortable with where Martinez is with his knowledge of the playbook and command of the offense so far. Verduzco called him ‘sharp’ and noted that he is a hard worker.
As for Martinez, he's seen the most growth in one partciular area of his game since January.
“I would say attention to detail," Martinez said. "Coach Verduzco prides himself on being an attention to detail quarterback coach so he makes sure we are the same way. I feel like I’ve gotten better in my throwing mechanics and getting bigger too. Everything matters.
“Every little thing matters.”
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.