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Spring football practice, 3.11.2019

Quarterback Luke McCaffrey (7) runs drills during Nebraska football practice at Hawks Championship Center on March 11.

Over the course of the past two months — and in the first two weeks of Nebraska spring football — praise for freshman quarterback Luke McCaffrey has been steady.

Head coach Scott Frost lauded him. So, too, has quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco.

Monday, it was sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez’s turn. Martinez, of course, has the starting job well and nailed down after a standout freshman season, but he’s well aware of the rigors that go along with getting to college as a mid-year enrollee and trying to hit the ground running.

“He’s been busting his tail out there,” Martinez said. “And nothing less is expected when you’re working with Coach Verdu and the rest of us, but he’s really driven. He works hard. He’s eager just to get everything right and do things the right way. I’m sure you guys already know, but he’s done a great job of just knowing what to do when it comes to the playbook.”

That’s the part that’s really stood out. McCaffrey has plenty to learn, particularly in live situations. Verduzco outlined some of the mechanical changes the former Valor Christian (Colorado) standout is making during his first collegiate semester.

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But the playbook hasn’t been a problem. He’s picked it up quickly.

“It took me off-guard, honestly,” Martinez said. “When he first got here, he was talking like he’d been here for a year already. I was like ‘Man, this guy knows what he’s doing.’ Obviously there’s learning curves when you go out there and play against our guys, but he’s doing a great job so far.”

Verduzco recently said McCaffrey is going to be “hell on wheels,” as he develops physically and reiterated that sentiment in a recent conversation with the Journal Star.

“Luke is going to be a good player, man,” Verduzco said. “A really good player. He hasn’t even lifted until this year. He’s really smart, he works hard.”

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com 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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