Photo by Eric Francis
Nebraska Football

Adrian Martinez on Road to Nebraska: 'It Was a Journey'

August 27, 2018
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Adrian Martinez joined Ben McLaughlin on Monday night for his first appearance on Sports Nightly since being named Nebraska's starting quarterback.

Martinez displayed the same poise that he showed at podium earlier in the day during his radio appearance. The signal-caller reiterated that it’s an honor to be the starting quarterback at such a prestigious university and he’s excited about the opportunity. 

Here is the full transcript of his interview: 

What was your stress level mentally through your recruitment?

“It was a journey. I didn’t get my Nebraska offer until two or three weeks before signing day. I wasn’t sure where I was going to go. I was previously committed to Tennessee. It had been a rocky recruitment but it all worked out perfectly. I think God had a plan for it genuinely, and Coach [Scott] Frost came in at the perfect time. I jumped at the opportunity and look where I am now.”

When Nebraska first get on your radar? 

“When I first started looking at schools, Nebraska was one of the top ones. I think just being what Nebraska is, it’s hard not to want to come here. The situation wasn’t right. The previous coach wasn’t really interested in recruiting a 2018 quarterback for whatever reason. Coach Frost came in the picture and I was aware of the situation heading into the American Conference Championship game, UCF versus Memphis. I was watching it live. UCF won that game and it was announced that he was taking the Nebraska job. I was thinking to myself that this would be a heck of a story and Nebraska would be a great place to end up. A few hours later, Coach [Mario] Verduzco gives me a call and offers me a scholarship. “ 

What did your family think of Nebraska? 

“My family really just wanted me to be happy. They didn’t care if I was going to go as far east as I wanted or stay close to home. They wanted me to be happy. Really, they wanted to get to know the people. Obviously, people of Nebraska know how special it is here. Coach Frost and the coaching staff are one of a kind. They genuinely care about their players and that was something that stood out. The community here is so strong. Those were just two really big factors for myself and my family. It’s something that stands out about Nebraska."

What were the first couple of days like in Lincoln? 

“It almost didn’t feel real at first. As I got acclimated things became easier. I feel like where I’m supposed to be.”

What was your first experience on the practice field like?

“There was definitely some getting used to. Things move a lot faster. Even for the other players, practice was like the way it is now. We move fast. It’s tempo, we are running around the field all the time. In high school, it’s not like that. I don’t care where you go. It’s not like that in college at all the places. There definitely was an adjustment but I feel like I’m living the dream. I get to practice in these cleats and this indoor stadium? I felt blessed and I still do."

Explain the process going through spring and fall trying to be the guy.

“I approached it like that starting in the spring. I knew when I came here, that I wanted to be the starter. I was pushing myself consistently in all areas. In the weight room, the practice field, the film room to learn everything I could. Then fall camp hit and I knew that’s when it really counts. I was really pushing myself to get better day in and day out on the practice field. I feel like that happened. Now I’ll have to continue to do that. I’ve been competing this whole time and now I have to get acclimated to getting the majority of the reps.”

What it’s like quarterbacking this offense and controlling the tempo? 

“It’s fun, man. You feel like a little general out there. You feel like you have power. The defense, they have to get adjusted and line up fast. They have to see our formation and all of us are locked in. Our linemen are moving quick. For me it’s knowing when to give it and when to throw it. Also, when to keep the ball myself. Being able to see the whole picture. Obviously, the more reps I get, the better I’ll get at that whole process.” 

What’s your approach to leadership? 

“Obviously, I’m a true freshman so you can’t just go up to these older guys and demand to be a leader, you have to earn the right to that. I still think I’m in the process of that right now. I believe leadership is performance and performance is leadership. You have to go out there and prove yourself. In practice, the weight room, where ever. The guys see that and it’s leading to respect from the team. That’s where my groove is. Working hard, setting the standard and trying to hold my teammates accountable.” 

How are you approaching this week and game day? 

“I’m going to approach it just as the coaches tell me. I’m going to watch as much film and prepare mentally as well as I can. I’m going to attack every day in practice. If I do that and we do that as a team, we will be in great shape on Saturday.” 

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