QB Adrian Martinez, Nebraska
HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL): Fresno, CA (Clovis West)
247 RATING: .9423
POSITION RANK: 20
Passing: 4,572 yards (62.4%), 27 touchdowns, 17 interceptions
Rushing: 1,255 yards (4.4 ypc), 15 touchdowns
Passing: 1,955 yards (59.4%), 10 touchdowns, 9 interceptions
Rushing: 626 yards (3.2 ypc), 7 touchdowns
– Natural runner
– Extends plays
– Ball security
– Tense passer
– Ball placement
As was the case for his team, Adrian Martinez struggled to make improvements in 2019. The Cornhuskers were tabbed as a potential Big Ten title contender, and he was put on preseason Heisman watch lists. Neither of those predictions panned out, but there’s still plenty to like about the quarterback and the team.
Martinez thrilled fans with his running ability as a freshman and a sophomore. He’s listed at 225 pounds, giving him weight to sustain numerous hits during a game as well as pick up extra yardage. He utilizes that when he’s trying to keep plays alive in the passing game. His elusiveness helps him avoid the pass rush, and comes in handy with an offensive line that allowed a ton of pressure on him in 2019. Extending plays continues to be a positive for Martinez, but it also comes at a cost.
The biggest issue in his game is ball security. Turnovers continue to plague his career, whether that’s fumbling the ball or throwing interceptions. While he can extend plays and take hits, ball security continues to be his biggest concern. Defenders are taught to punch the ball out with him, because it typically yields a great result. A focus on securing the football when he takes off should be a big focus in the offseason, and the rest of his development should sort itself out.
Even as a freshman, Martinez showed great patience in the pocket despite constant pressure. He’s able to throw darts into tight windows, but his touch needs work. He frequently seems tense throwing the football, and slowing the game down (and getting more protection) will help loosen him up. Martinez can live up to the hype given to him the last two years, but he needs to go back to the drawing board. Not all of the pressure is on his shoulders, but he’ll play a big role in Nebraska’s turnaround.