Scott Frost knows a thing or two about playing quarterback for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He also knows a thing or two about what type of quarterback wins him football games as a head coach.
So, it is hard not to notice that two of his biggest moves since arriving in Lincoln, Neb. as the new Nebraska head coach have come at the quarterback position.
On Wednesday, Frost got his first quarterback commitment as the Huskers head man. It was a big get too, flipping one-time Tennessee commit and 4-star senior quarterback Adrian Martinez.
He is the No. 8 ranked dual threat quarterback in the 2018 class and the No. 142 ranked player in the country according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Frost managed to get the commitment just days after offering, relying on his established relationship after offering at UCF. Nebraska put the offer out to Martinez on Dec. 3, got him to visit just five days later and then another five days later the verbal pledge came to the Huskers.
That’s some impressive recruiting chops for a player many schools were after once he opened up his recruiting again following Tennessee’s coaching disaster.
Martinez comes as another in a line of 4-star signal callers for the Huskers, so perhaps there’s some hesitation to believe the hype. Under Riley, the Huskers landed commits from 4-star quarterbacks
There’s also the fact that Martinez hasn’t thrown a football in a game since 2016. A shoulder injury and subsequent surgery kept him off the field after amassing 3,869 total yards and 41 total touchdowns as a junior.
But, according to a report from the Omaha World-Herald, Martinez showed some mettle in how he dealt with the injury and missing his final high school season. According to the report, Martinez took on a player-coach role and was there for every morning workout and evening practice.
In other words, rather than sulking about the injury, he took on whatever he could to help his team.
That’s a good indication of the type of leader Martinez could be on the next level. It’s also a good building block to what Frost wants to build at quarterback.
So, how did Frost win Martinez over so quickly?
One of the more interesting quotes from Martinez sheds some good light on Frost’s decision to coach UCF in the Peach Bowl despite taking the new gig in Lincoln.
“It speaks volumes that he’s going out to coach the bowl game,” Martinez said. “He’s going to finish it out with his players. That’s a big deal. That definitely impressed me. It showed me he wouldn’t give up on his players, that he wasn’t selfish. He’s demonstrated a lot of great things throughout this process in making the transition to Nebraska. It speaks to his character.”
Frost got the big-named quarterback that can give the Huskers the run-pass option that haven’t had since a different Martinez – Taylor Martinez — was in town. But, just landing a 4-star quarterback is no guarantee of future success.
Nebraska has had two straight recruiting classes with 4-star quarterbacks inPatrick O’Brien and Tristan Gebbia over the last few years. Of course it is unfair to judge after just one potential season for either of them. But, with an open battle heading in to 2017, O’Brien, who should’ve had advantage in raw talent, was beaten out by Tulane transfer Tanner Lee.
That didn’t work out so well, as Lee struggled with interceptions, and now Frost is looking for something different at quarterback all together.
Can Gebbia or O’Brien be the quarterback Frost needs early on? Lee clearly isn’t the option Frost will be looking to in 2018, so it will be incumbent upon someone in the young stable of quarterbacks to make a mark quickly this offseason.
Can this Martinez lead the Huskers to at least the level the previous one did – mainly getting them in to the Big Ten championship game at the very least?
Of course it is way too soon to assume that, but at the very least we know the Huskers aren’t going to have trouble convincing top-quality recruits to come to Lincoln now that Frost is there.
Let’s see if the magic can continue to rub off in the coming five days or so before the new national signing day period begins.