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Nebraska vs. Iowa, 11.23

Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez scrambles before passing to Kade Warner for a two-point conversion against Iowa at Kinnick Stadium on Nov. 23.

College football watch list season is upon us.

It probably makes sense that Adrian Martinez is a prominent part of it.

The Nebraska sophomore quarterback is on the initial Maxwell Award Watch List released Monday. The trophy goes to the nation's best all-around player.

Martinez returns to pilot the Husker attack after a record-breaking freshman year in 2018. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder set 11 school records after becoming the first true freshman quarterback to start an opener in school history. On the season, Martinez completed 224-of-347 passes (64.6%) for 2,617 yards and 17 touchdowns (with eight picks) while also rushing for 629 yards and eight scores en route to All-Big Ten and Freshman All-America honors.

Martinez ranked 12th nationally and led all freshmen in total offense per game (295.1 ypg) while also setting school marks for 300-yard total offense (seven) and 400-yard total offense (three) games. Martinez set freshman records for completions, completion percentage, passing yards, passing touchdowns, total offense and total touchdowns (25), and he was fourth nationally among all freshmen in passing yards per game at 237.9.

Martinez threw for a season-high 384 yards and two touchdowns against Wisconsin, while his best game of the year came against Minnesota, when he completed a school-record 86.2% of his passes (25-of-29) for 276 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for a season-high 125 yards and a score on 15 carries.

Martinez is one of 11 Big Ten players on the Maxwell list. He will look to become Nebraska’s second Maxwell Award winner, joining Mike Rozier (1983).

The last three winners were quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) and Lamar Jackson (Louisville).

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or ssipple@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraSip.

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Husker columnist

Steven, a lifelong Nebraskan, newspaper enthusiast and UNL grad, joined the Journal Star in 1990 and has covered NU football since 1995.

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