It was just too much to pass up for Clovis West High junior quarterback Adrian Martinez.
Many schools lobbied for Martinez, but the lure of Southeastern Conference football drew Martinez to Tennessee. He verbally committed to the Volunteers on Friday and says he expects to sign his letter-of-intent in December.
“I want to be a part of a culture where the fans love football,” Martinez said. “I want to get the best what college football has to offer. I feel like as far as crowd and fans, the passion … the best of that is in the SEC.”
The four-star recruit by Scout held many offers including Alabama, Georgia, Louisville, Miami (Fla.), Mississippi, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington.
Martinez, listed at 6 feet 2 inches and 198 pounds, accounted for 3,869 yards and 41 touchdowns for an 8-4 team that placed second in the Tri-River Athletic Conference, the Central Section’s preeminent league.
Those totals included 2,484 yards and 25 touchdowns passing and 1,385 yards and 16 scores while averaging 7.4 yards per carry on the ground while the Golden Eagles advanced to the section Division I semifinals.
Martinez recently decommitted from Cal citing coaching changes. He said he’s 100 percent committed to Tennessee.
It’s doubtful Martinez will play his senior year at Clovis West as he’s recovering from a torn labrum in his right shoulder but said he’ll be ready when he enrolls at Tennessee for the fall of 2018.
There, Martinez will compete for the starting quarterback job at the school where Peyton Manning starred before spending 18 seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Indianapolis Colts and finishing the past four with the Denver Broncos.
Martinez is the second Central Section quarterback to commit to Tennessee in recent years. Kingsburg’s Tyler Bray played for the Volunteers for three seasons (2010-12). He later signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.