As most every Husker fan knows, four-year starting quarterback Adrian Martinez announced his entry into the college football transfer portal last week. His decision, given his recent shoulder surgery that will sideline him for up to six months, came as a bit of a surprise.
The question is, where will Adrian Martinez land? What are his options?
Martinez's surgery may hinder his transfer options considering he won't be eligible to participate in winter conditioning or even play spring football for his new team.
Prospective head coaches might shy away from recruiting him because he may be considered damaged goods. Coaches won't know what he can (or can't) do until maybe late spring.
Would any of them be willing to use up a scholarship on someone who can give them only one year of playing? (It worked for Russell Wilson, who transferred from North Carolina State to play his senior year at Wisconsin.) Or would any of the coaches redshirt Martinez for one year and wait to play him in 2023? That certainly is a possibility considering he does have a redshirt year and an extra year of eligibility due to COVID.
Whatever he chooses to do, most Husker fans will want him to succeed. The question is, why is Martinez leaving at this time with two more years available to him?
Here are some possible reasons:
- He's tired of playing for a losing program that hasn't developed a good offensive line and running game.
- He's upset with the firing of his position coach, Mario Verdruzco, and offensive coordinator Matt Lubick.
- He's upset with his head coach, Scott Frost.
- He wants to transfer to 7-5 Kansas State, where his girlfriend plays soccer.
- He wants to transfer to Fresno State, where the head coach (Kalen DeBoer) resigned November 29th to take the head coaching job at Washington. Adrian grew up in Fresno, CA.
- Was Adrian forced out by either the coaching staff at Nebraska or by one or more of the assistants Frost is about to hire?
We may never know for sure the reason(s) for his transferring. What will be his legacy? In my opinion, Adrian Martinez should be remembered for his talent, dedication and character he displayed during his four years at Nebraska. He played through a lot of pain, never once complained or made excuses and never shied away from facing the media even after heartbreaking losses.
He leaves Nebraska owning 10 school records for offense. But the whole point of playing is (and should be) the number of wins a player or a team produces. In that category, Martinez is not going to be regarded too highly.
Good News Department
As of this writing, only one of the Huskers' four open assistant coaching jobs has been filled - and it's not an offensive coordinator or offensive line coach. Former Husker quarterback Mickey Joseph, who played for the Huskers from '88-'91 and who was a teammate of new Husker Athletic Director Trev Alberts, was hired last week to be the Huskers' receivers coach, passing-game coordinator and associate head coach.
It's way too early to tell, but you wonder if there might be even better things in store for the 53-year-old Joseph. Mickey should be able to have an immediate impact on the Huskers' recruiting trail.
In what has to be a cruel twist of fate, former Husker great Johnny "The Jet" Rodgers was hospitalized on Thanksgiving Day and was being treated for COVID. His condition looked grim, but apparently, JR is doing better. I left him a voice message this morning wishing him a speedy recovery. The irony of the date he was admitted was the 50th anniversary of "The Game of the Century" in which he made the most iconic play in Husker football history. His 72-yard punt return of a Joe Wylie punt turned out to be the difference in that classic game won by the Huskers, 35-31. Nebraska went on to repeat as national champions in '71 and Rodgers was Nebraska's first Heisman winner in '72. I join all of Huskerland in wishing him a speedy and complete recovery.