Stay updated with Nebraska Cornhuskers football recruiting in the latest edition of The Harvest, which posts at 7:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. Be sure to check out previous editions of The Harvest here.
Leg work pays off in landing QB Adrian Martinez
The Huskers have their man.
Adrian Martinez, a 4-star dual-threat quarterback from Fresno, Calif., announced his commitment to Nebraska on Wednesday night.
— Adrian Martinez (@MartinezTheQB) December 13, 2017
The entire process with Huskers coach Scott Frost, his staff and Martinez moved rapidly once Frost was named coach on Dec. 2. Within hours, quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco reached out to Martinez with an offer. The interest quickly became mutual after the former Tennessee commit weighed his options with a new coaching staff coming in to Knoxville following a dreadful season for the Volunteers.
On Nebraska’s end, there were several logistical obstacles that could have prevented a visit by Frost and Verduzco that took place Tuesday night at Martinez’s home. That visit ultimately sealed the deal.
In the 10 days after he was named Huskers coach, Frost has been spending most of his time fulfilling his recruiting duties for his new team. But now that Peach Bowl prep has begun for UCF, which he led to an undefeated season, we’re starting to see the juggling act he must master over the next week.
Frost passed his first test with Martinez, and Tuesday was a prime example of how he’s managing his double coaching life.
It was the first day the Knights really practiced since their American Athletic Conference Championship Game victory over Memphis. So Frost and his coaching staff, the entirety of which will join him in Lincoln, led practice during the day. But come evening, Frost and Verduzco hopped on a jet to see Martinez.
That was an important gesture. Take the timeline into account. Martinez took his official visit to Nebraska last weekend. (He thoroughly enjoyed it.) On Monday night, new Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt and offensive coordinator Tyson Helton conducted an in-home visit in a last-ditch attempt to hang on to Martinez. But the Huskers had the momentum and it came to fruition less than 24 hours after their visit.
Sources close to Martinez told Land of 10 earlier this week that Nebraska had already put itself in a promising position, even prior to the most recent in-home. The visit solidified the Huskers’ standing with Martinez and his family. For Frost and Verduzco to fly from Orlando, Fla., to Fresno as they’re gearing up to prepare a group of players they truly care about for a major bowl game will not be lost on a thoughtful kid such as Martinez.
Ultimately, the Huskers’ full-court press on Martinez resulted in gaining a potential quarterback of the future.
‘Our guy’ and ‘the future’
Martinez is the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback in this class, according to the 247Sports composite. He has been a highly touted recruit who is known to stretch defenses with his arm and stress them with his legs. A shoulder injury prevented him from playing his senior season.
Here’s what Verduzco tweeted right after the commitment.
Husker Nation, we got our guy. The future just happened!!!
— Mario A. F. Verduzco (@Coach_Verdu) December 13, 2017
Coaches are always excited when they receive commitments from prospects, but phrases like “our guy” and “the future” aren’t thrown around every day.
That sets the stage for the high expectations Martinez will face almost immediately at Nebraska. It takes a certain type of quarterback to excel in Frost’s offense, but the staff clearly believes he is their guy, hence the aggressive push that helped land him.
Assuming all is well with his health, Martinez should have a chance to compete for the starting quarterback position, despite his youth. Martinez has told Land of 10 he plans on signing early and enrolling in January, as he is on track to be a mid-year graduate from high school.
Tennessee recruiting battle: Jaron Woodyard will visit Vols
Both Tennessee and Nebraska are recruiting from the standpoint of new staffs assuming their roles, so it makes sense that they’re battling over several prospects down the stretch. For example, both schools are in on 3-star running back Jeremy Banks and 4-star offensive lineman Jerome Carvin.
Jaron Woodyard, a 3-star wide receiver, committed to Nebraska on Sunday, but that won’t stop him from taking an official visit this weekend to Tennessee. It’s an interesting choice, given the fact that he just pledged to the Huskers. But it appears Nebraska fans don’t have much to worry about.
— 🎱™ (@__SPEEDYY8) December 13, 2017
This will be Woodyard’s fifth and final official visit. He is expected to sign with the Huskers during the early signing period, which begins Dec. 20.
Trio of offers extended
It’s not quite the offer spree the staff rolled out last week, but the Huskers are still extending offers to prospects they feel they can impress as the recruiting cycle enters the final stages.
On Wednesday, Nebraska extended two more offers. The first went to 4-star cornerback Taiyon Palmer, who plays a position of extreme need for the Huskers. Palmer is the No. 28 cornerback in the class, per the 247Sports composite. He had been committed to Duke until Nov. 30 before rescinding that pledge. The Lawrenceville, Ga., native holds offer from a variety of Power 5 programs, such as Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and Pitt. He will take an official visit to Vanderbilt this weekend.
— Taiyon Palmer (@__TLP3) December 13, 2017
Jaevon Becton, a 3-star defensive end, de-committed from Georgia on Wednesday. Less than an hour later, he had a Nebraska offer. Becton is the No. 62 weak-side defensive end in the class, according to the 247Sports composite. The staff offered the Virginia Beach, Va., native while they coached at UCF, so there’s some familiarity there.
— L O W L I F E🎈 (@Jaevoon_23) December 13, 2017
The third offer of the day went to another cornerback, except this prospect is committed. Stanley Garner III is pledged to Kentucky, but the Huskers will try to flip him. Garner is the No. 45 cornerback in this class, per the 247Sports composite, and a 3-star recruit. The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., native also is familiar with this staff from their time at UCF. He is expected to be an early enrollee, so Nebraska will have to move quickly.
2019 in-state prospects get visits
Chris Hickman and Nick Henrich, Nebraska’s No. 2 and No. 3 prospects, respectively, received in-school visits Wednesday, according to Mike Sautter of the Omaha World-Herald.
Sautter reported that Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst and Penn State assistant defensive line coach Phil Galiano had some face time with the Omaha Burke teammates.
Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst and Penn State assistant DL coach Phil Galiano made a stop by Omaha Burke today to see 2019 LB Nick Henrich and 2019 TE Chris Hickman today. #Badgers #PennState pic.twitter.com/zDEh765S0k
— MikeSautterOWH (@MikeSautterOWH) December 13, 2017
The 2019 class is shaping up to be one with plenty of talent. The Huskers already have a commitment from the state’s top-ranked player, Garrett Nelson, and another commitment from one of the state’s premier prospects, Garrett Nelson.
Henrich and Hickman provide a real chance for the Huskers to establish a solid base for the 2019 class without even having to leave the state.
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