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Countdown to spring ball: Entrenched Martinez leads intriguing QB group

Countdown to spring ball: Entrenched Martinez leads intriguing QB group


Nebraska opens spring football March 4 and is set for a five-week session before the Red-White Spring Game on April 13 at Memorial Stadium. In the days before spring ball starts, the Journal Star is previewing each position group. 

We start with the quarterbacks. 

Nebraska vs Wisconsin, college football, 10.6.18

Quarterback Adrian Martinez (2) talks with Nebraska coach Scott Frost on the sideline late in the fourth quarter of a game at Wisconsin on Oct. 6.

Departed players: None.

Returning players: Sophomores Adrian Martinez and Noah Vedral, junior walk-on Andrew Bunch and redshirt freshman walk-on Matt Masker.

Incoming players: Freshman Luke McCaffrey.

2018 stats: Martinez (11 starts): 224-of-347 (64.6 percent), 2,617 yards, 17 TDs, 8 INTs, 629 rushing yards (4.8) and 8 TDs. Bunch (5 games, 1 start): 31-of-47 (66), 320, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 40 rushing yards (2.5). Vedral (1 game): 2-of-9 (22.2), 29, 0 TDs, 1 INT, 13 rushing yards (1.9), TD.


Last year, a quarterback battle drove conversation through spring ball and fall camp. Adrian Martinez ended that conversation emphatically.

The Fresno, California, native set several NU freshman records en route to 3,246 total yards of offense. He is the entrenched starter headed into 2019 and is garnering offseason talk of Heisman Trophy consideration. He is a cornerstone player in the Scott Frost era and is seemingly comfortable shouldering the responsibility that comes with that status.

The Huskers won’t be a finished product in 2019, which means NU might pile even more responsibility onto its standout quarterback.

Behind Martinez, NU must find some consistency — how much different might the season have looked had the Huskers beat Troy in September with Andrew Bunch at the helm? — but appears to have the pieces to do so.

Bunch and Noah Vedral provide experience in the system, while incoming freshman Luke McCaffrey has wowed Frost and the staff with his work ethic and athleticism since arriving on campus in January.

The starting job, barring injury, is not up for grabs. But there is plenty to sort out after Martinez. The talented sophomore will certainly get his share of work in the spring, but expect the others to be put in a ton of situations to help identify a pecking order.

Contact the writer at or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.


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Sports writer

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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