Recruiting: Another Martinez to join Husker program

2013-01-31T17:10:00Z 2015-01-27T17:22:43Z Recruiting: Another Martinez to join Husker programBy BRIAN CHRISTOPHERSON / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

The name needs no introduction in these parts.

Martinez. Times two now.

Drake Martinez committed to Nebraska on Wednesday night, deciding to join his brother Taylor as a Husker, becoming the 23rd pledge in this recruiting class.

“He always kind of wanted to play with his brother at the collegiate level,” said Drake’s high school coach, Mike Churchill. “Some people will be like, ‘Well, why do you care? It’s only one year anyway.’ But he always kind of wanted to do that.”

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Drake Martinez is about as fast as his brother — “like lightning,” Churchill says.

He led Laguna Beach (Calif.) High School in career rushing yards. When his career was over, Churchill sat down, did the math and found out Martinez had averaged 11 yards every time he touched the ball, with plenty of those yards coming from the fullback position.

But Martinez also played safety on defense. “He hardly ever left the field,” Churchill said.

It’s defense Martinez would prefer to play at the next level, the coach said, giving Nebraska another potential safety option in this class to go along with D.J. Singleton and Nathan Gerry.

Martinez had offers from Michigan State, Vanderbilt and San Diego State. He even visited East Lansing, Mich., last week, stepping foot at the scene of one of his older brother’s best moments — a game-winning touchdown pass to Jamal Turner with five seconds left this past season.

The younger Martinez was pulling off his own dramatic feats at the high school level.

“He was the go-to guy for us,” Churchill said.

The coach recalled a game late in the season. Martinez’s team had jumped to a huge lead, a four- or five-touchdown advantage. It slipped away.

The game was tied. The other team had the ball, the momentum. Only about a minute-and-a-half left. It was third down.

“Drake steps up and makes a big interception and scores a touchdown,” Churchill said. “That’s the guy he’s been for us.”

On offense, Martinez had more than 1,600 yards rushing, averaging 9.4 yards per carry as a senior. On defense, he had six interceptions.

Aside from his speed, he has other similarities to his older brother.

He isn’t a big talker, his coach says. He is a hard worker.

“He’s really introverted, a lot like Taylor,” Churchill said. “But he’s the kind of kid when you get to the practice field, you don’t have to tell him to run full speed or play his best. You just don't have to do that. And I think that’s because of two things: His dad raised him right and he's seen Taylor. So he knows.”

Reach Brian Christopherson at bchristopherson@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. You can follow him on Twitter @HuskerExtraBC.

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