After receiving 26 offers and making two oral commitments, only to back off each time because of a coaching change, Clovis West High football star Adrian Martinez believes he’s made his final college choice.
Martinez announced via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon that he will sign with Nebraska.
“Thankful for this incredible journey,” Martinez tweeted, including a photo of himself in a Cornhuskers uniform.
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A rare four-star recruit from the central San Joaquin Valley, the 6-foot-2, 198-pound Martinez was ranked the ninth and 10th best dual-threat quarterback in the country by national recruiting services Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Martinez began to pull back from his nonbinding oral commitment to Tennessee about a month ago after the Volunteers fired Butch Jones.
Tennessee’s new coaching staff continued to recruit Martinez, even making a trip to Fresno on Monday.
Nebraska, represented by incoming coach Scott Frost and quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco, followed with an in-home visit Tuesday.
Martinez’s father, Tony, said he and his son were impressed by the Nebraska coaches’ knowledge of quarterbacking and thrilled about plans to install an offense friendly to the position.
He’ll coach Adrian in a manner that’ll help him become successful and flourish.
Tony Martinez, the father of Adrian Martinez, on new Nebraska coach Scott Frost
At Central Florida, Frost’s offense leads the nation in scoring at 49.4 points per game and ranks seventh with an average of 339.3 passing yards per game. The Knights are 12-0 heading into the Peach Bowl, his final game with UCF before taking on his new job with the Cornhuskers.
“Through his experiences as a college quarterback and head coach, I believe Mr. Frost can provide the mentorship that’s necessary to succeed in this game at that level,” Tony Martinez said. “Mr. Frost is soft-spoken, sincere and knowledgeable. His offensive scheme fits Adrian’s talents.
“He’ll coach Adrian in a manner that’ll help him become successful and flourish.”
Martinez, who sat out his senior season because of a shoulder injury, is scheduled to make it official during the early signing period that begins Dec. 20, graduate from Clovis West this winter and enroll at Nebraska in time for the spring semester.
Tony Martinez added that Adrian is about 85 percent to 90 percent recovered and will participate in spring practice.
But before suiting up for Nebraska, Martinez will show off his skills at the Under Armour All-America Game scheduled for Jan. 4 in Orlando, Fla.
“He’s working on his timing and arm strength – it’s coming around,” Tony Martinez said of his son’s recovery. “He’s a competitor and anxious to practice and play football again.”
As a junior, Martinez accounted for 3,869 yards and 41 touchdowns.
Martinez a year ago committed to Cal, but a few months later the school fired coach Sonny Dykes. Martinez then chose Tennessee, inspired by a trip to the Knoxville campus.
26Number of schools that offered Clovis West quarterback Adrian Martinez a football scholarship
Martinez stuck with the Volunteers throughout his senior season, even amid rumors they would be firing their coaching staff. But once Jones’ fate became official, Martinez openly said he was considering other offers.
“We met a lot of great people in Knoxville,” Tony Martinez said. “But their coaching search and process, everything just seemed chaotic.
“We didn’t know what was going on over there. And we were still being approached by other schools.”
Among those who stayed in contact with Martinez was Frost and Central Florida.
Living in Florida and playing in the American Athletic Conference never appealed to Martinez.
But after Central Florida defeated Memphis in the AAC championship, Frost & Co. made an enhanced pitch.
“Maybe two hours after the game I get a call,” Adrian Martinez said. “Coach Frost took the Nebraska job. Coach V is on the phone. ‘You’re my first call. I called my wife and then I called you.’ I want to offer you a scholarship to the University of Nebraska. You’re going to be our quarterback. I want to build this thing around you.’ Next day I get a call from Coach Frost.”
“There’s a lot of love, right?”
Adrian and his father visited Lincoln the following weekend and by this week had narrowed his choices to Tennessee and Nebraska, with Fresno State a distant third, his father said.
The in-person visit with Frost on Tuesday evening sealed Martinez’s decision.
“This has been a long road,” Tony Martinez said. “It was never what we thought it was going to be like, how it was going to be. It’s been a journey and a quite difficult one with coaches pulling you in every direction and wanting your attention.
“It’s flattering but exhausting. At the end of the day, he had to make a decision – a selfish decision – that’s best for him. Adrian believes it’s the right fit for him.”