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Adrian Martinez previews official visit to Nebraska
Adrian Martinez was one of the first on-campus visitors Scott Frost and his staff hosted at UCF two springs ago. The Knights staff targeted the young quarterback from Frenso, Calif. and liked what they saw in him. Martinez liked Frost and the UCF quarterbacks coach, Mario Verduzco, but wasn’t keen on the school. The recruiting process, for Martinez, resulted in a flurry of Power-5 offers and an eventual commitment to Tennessee.
But the paths of Martinez, Verduzco and Frost crossed once again when Frost took the Nebraska job and brought Verduzco along with him to continue coaching quarterbacks. One of their first offers went to Martinez, who was listening.
“It’s kind of funny how things work out,” Martinez told Land of 10 on Friday. “With them coming to Nebraska, and things playing out the way they have so far. I didn’t really feel like UCF was a good fit for me. I wasn’t really liking that school in that way, but I liked them as a coaching staff. And then they make the move over to Nebraska and, obviously, it’s a little bit different.
“It’s a lot easier to recruit to Nebraska than to UCF.”
Martinez spoke from his hotel room in Lincoln with a view of Memorial Stadium, hours before his official visit with Nebraska commenced. The whole process between Martinez and Nebraska has moved quickly since the staff transitioned over the weekend. Verduzco stopped by for an in-home visit earlier in the week when they hammered out the details and planned the official visit for this weekend.
The Location📍 #GBR 🏴
— Adrian Martinez (@MartinezTheQB) December 8, 2017
The in-home visit with Verduzco was a good way to rekindle their relationship, Martinez said.
“I really got to know more about him personally and who he is,” he said.
Martinez, who is a 4-star prospect and the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback in this class, according to the 247Sports composite, has stayed in consistent contact with Verduzco and has spoken on the phone with Frost “numerous” times in the last week.
During the visit, Martinez will be paying attention to the environment and the type of people he will be interacting with. He wants to make sure he fits in with the players.
“I want to be around people that have one common goal and are passionate about the place that they’re at,” Martinez said. “Obviously, a lot of these guys are new, but still, I think that would mean a lot.”
The previous staff never recruited Martinez, so he hardly paid attention to the Huskers’ 2017 season. But he’s a college football fan and is aware of the program’s storied tradition.
“I think Nebraska is a national power type school. Being the guy I am, I love college football and the history of it and everything else,” Martinez said. “Nebraska has a strong history and a certain amount of pedigree that comes with it. … Nebraska, as a program, I know they’re as good as it gets.”
— Adrian Martinez (@MartinezTheQB) December 5, 2017
Tennessee went through a rocky coaching change that resulted in the hiring of former Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, and Martinez is still committed there. However, several of his 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions have switched either Tennessee or Ohio State picks to Nebraska.
“I’m obviously still committed to Tennessee,” Martinez said. “[I’m] kind of waiting and seeing how the relationship kind of grows from there.”
Martinez, who is an Under Armour All-American, had a quick phone conversation with Pruitt on Thursday night and Pruitt plans on seeing him back in California.
“I don’t really know what type of offense they’re gonna run, what their entire staff looks like,” Martinez said. “That’s kind of some things to look at. So I’m waiting on that. But in the meantime, I’m here, seeing if this could be a place I can go.”
Throughout the season, Martinez kept an eye on Frost at UCF and the type of offense he ran. He’s visualized himself in the offense and it’s a message Frost and Verduzco continue pitching him.
“I feel like I’m a perfect fit for his offense,” Martinez said. “My high school coach actually thinks the same thing. When we watched them, he was just like, ‘This offense is perfect for you.’ I agree with it.”
Even though he’s taking an official visit so close to the early signing period, coupled with a shaky commitment status, Martinez still plans on enrolling early. However, he would like to wait until Pruitt conducts his in-home and he meets the new Tennessee offensive staff before making his final decision.
“I couldn’t even tell you. I feel like it’s impossible to put a real deadline on this type of thing,” Martinez said. “It’s more like a feeling and when I think it’s right. I really don’t know. It could go down to signing day. It could be tomorrow for all I know.”
Justin McGriff excited by Nebraska offer
Wide receiver Justin McGriff was one of the first UCF commits to receive a Nebraska offer from the coaching staff that recruited him to Orlando. Frost visited his Jefferson High School (Tampa, Fla.) and informed him about the offer.
“I was excited,” McGriff said of the encounter. “I was really excited.”
That led to scheduling an official visit for this weekend.
“It’s a great opportunity to play in the Big Ten,” McGriff told Land of 10. “I’m gonna go up there for a visit to check things out and see how I like it up there.”
Nebraska I’m on my way 😬🤑❗️
— Justin Clift Mcgriff (@JustincliftM) December 8, 2017
Heading into the visit, the Florida native didn’t know too much about Nebraska or the Midwest in general. He wants to make sure he’d feel comfortable far away from home.
“I know that there’s a lot winning,” McGriff said. “They’re a winning program. They’re a very prominent program.”
McGriff will have plenty of time to contemplate his visit, as he will not sign his letter of intent until February. While speaking to McGriff, a key factor in his decision was whether former UCF tight ends coach Sean Beckton would follow Frost to Lincoln. But after the news Thursday that he will head to Nebraska to coach tight ends, it’s a good sign McGriff may follow.
Full list of official visitors this weekend
Martinez and McGriff are just two prospects taking official visits to Nebraska this weekend. Here’s a look at who else will be on campus.
Joshua Fleeks, 4-star athlete, Baylor commit: The Cedar Hill, Texas native can play both running back and receiver. His speed and experience at both positions make him the kind of skill position player the new staff has honed in this last week. He took his official visit to Baylor last week, so the Huskers will have to make an impression this weekend to flip him.
— F L E E K S $ (@JoshuaFleeks) December 8, 2017
C.J. Smith, 4-star safety: This will be the last of Smith’s official visits. The Huskers have made safety a priority this past week and are bringing someone they are familiar with after recruiting him to UCF. He took an official visit with the Knights on Nov. 10. Smith is from West Palm Beach, Florida.
Jaron Woodyard, 3-star wide receiver: Similar to Fleeks, Woodyard is a smaller guy who can play the skill positions with good speed. He also took an official visit with this staff when they were at UCF in September. Woodyard is a JUCO product from Arizona Western.
— jaron woodyard ™ (@__SPEEDYY8) December 8, 2017
Greg Bell, 3-star running back: Bell is a teammate of Woodyard’s at Arizona Western. Running backs coach Ryan Held put in work bringing in the Arizona Western guys for official visits this weekend. Clearly they were priority targets during the transition. He is a former Louisville target and just picked up a Tennessee offer.
— Greg Bell (@GregBell_) December 8, 2017
Jeshaun Jones, 3-star wide receiver: Jones picked up an offer Tuesday and is already in Lincoln for his visit this weekend. It will be his fourth official visit; the first three were to Tennessee, Iowa State and Maryland. He is from Ft. Myers, Fla. and also picked up an offer from this staff while they coached at UCF.
— Jeshaun Jones (@JeshaunJones06) December 8, 2017
*Some outlets are reporting that Anthony “Pookie” Williams, a 3-star running back from Boutte, La. and a Kansas commit, will be taking his official visit this weekend. However, Williams told Land of 10 he had to cancel the visit because he forgot he would be at Kansas this weekend. He didn’t respond to comment when asked if he would reschedule.
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