Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Adrian Martinez (2) watches a replay on the big screen against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Quarterback Adrian Martinez Enters the Transfer Portal

December 02, 2021

Adrian Martinez’s time at Nebraska has come to an end. The quarterback—who served as the Huskers’ starting quarterback for four seasons—has placed his name in the transfer portal, a source confirmed to Hail Varsity.

Martinez shared the news on Twitter not long after the news broke:

Martinez’s name has been inked in the Nebraska record books, most notably for passing Tommy Armstrong Jr.’s total offense record, which had stood since Armstrong left Nebraska in 2016. Martinez completed 23-of-35 passes for 351 yards against Wisconsin this season, increasing his career total offense total to 10,792, well ahead of the school record he set in 2018.

Speaking of that 2018 season, Martinez rewrote the Nebraska freshman record book. He averaged a school-record 295.1 yards of total offense per game, the ninth-highest mark by a freshman in NCAA history and the third-best mark by a true freshman. He also ranked 12th nationally in total offense per game. Martinez entered his sophomore season at Nebraska in 2019 with talk of him as a potential Heisman Trophy candidate, but he wasn’t able to replicate his record-setting freshman season.

Martinez has been prolific statistically during his career, but his big numbers haven’t translated into many wins. He ends his career at Nebraska with a 15-23 record as the starter.

During the 2021 season, he completed more than 61 percent of his passes for 2,863 yards and 14 touchdowns. He became the first player in Nebraska school history to have four 1,000-yard passing seasons. He was tabbed as an honorable-mention pick by the Big Ten Conference coaches following the season.

Martinez also suffered an injury to his right (throwing) shoulder late in the first half against Wisconsin in 2021, requiring Logan Smothers to come into the game in his place for one series. Frost had said the extent of Martinez’s injury wasn’t known at the time—Martinez even returned for the second half against the Badgers—but it was determined he would need surgery after further examination. Martinez underwent a successful surgery the Wednesday ahead of the Iowa matchup, with Smothers starting in his place against Iowa.

The shoulder injury is one of a few injuries Martinez has had in his four years as Nebraska’s starting quarterback. That includes a jaw injury sustained in September against Michigan State.

Martinez is eligible for a fifth collegiate season following the 2020 season. The NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility to players in response to the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the 2020 football season.

While coach Scott Frost said he encouraged Martinez to participate in Nebraska’s senior day activities, he also hoped he would return for the 2022 season. Frost said he and Martinez had been having conversations about his future “for a long time” and that a decision would be made soon following the season.

“He’s done a ton of really good things at the University of Nebraska,” Frost said. “Sometimes it’s been great, sometimes it hasn’t. But I admire and respect him, and he and I’ve been battling through a lot together, and I just appreciate who he is.”

In addition to a new quarterback for 2022, Nebraska will also be looking for a new offensive coordinator and a number of new offensive assistant coaches.

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