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Steven M. Sipple: Frost-Verduzco-Martinez triumvirate feels a bit like can't-miss material
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Steven M. Sipple: Frost-Verduzco-Martinez triumvirate feels a bit like can't-miss material


Things I know, and things I think I know:

Adrian Martinez has watched highlights of Scott Frost's playing days at Nebraska, and the images made an impression on the young gun.

"I haven't watched a lot of game film, though, just because, well, we don't run the wing-T," Martinez said with a chuckle.

Make no mistake, Martinez's respect for Frost is profound. In fact, Nebraska fans probably shouldn't take for granted the strong relationship that exists with Frost -- the second-year NU head coach and respected offensive mind -- and his prized young quarterback. Throw in Husker quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco, whom both Martinez and Frost trust implicitly, and it's easy to imagine the QB's rise continuing in a big way.

It feels a bit like can't-miss material to me.

Martinez was asked last week during Big Ten Media Days why he thinks the three men's chemistry works so well.

"There's just a really good balance," he said. "Coach Frost is more of a laid-back guy. (As for) Verduzco, I wouldn't necessarily describe him as laid-back. But they're both super-knowledgeable about the game of football. They can come at you from different perspectives and offer a lot of input on any topic."

Frost prides himself on being a trivia whiz, and we're not talking about just sports. What's more, his experiences over the years with various giants of coaching are well-documented. With Verduzco, a conversation can branch off into any number of avenues. They're both upbeat, interesting dudes with extensive backgrounds. You get a strong sense Martinez appreciates all of it.

He said Frost's trust in Verduzco's teachings is unwavering.

"And it's the same with me," Martinez said. "As soon as I stepped on campus, no matter what he told me, no matter what he wanted me to do, that's what I was going to do. He's already made me a better player, so I'm excited for the next couple years with him."

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Martinez, a native of Fresno, California, was brilliant in a lot of ways last season. His average of 295.1 yards of total offense per game was the ninth-best mark by a freshman in NCAA history. His completion rate of 64.6 ranked second in school history while his 629 rushing yards were the fourth-highest total of any true freshman in school history.

Ah, but he was far from perfect. He was a freshman. You knew there would be mistakes. To wit: Martinez had the second-most fumbles in the country with 12. Only Georgia Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall had more.

So, Martinez has been mindful during the spring and summer of limiting turnovers. He threw 17 touchdown passes along with eight interceptions last season.

"I think I had too many turnovers -- too many fumbles -- and interceptions I could've avoided," he said. "Upon reflection, watching film, I'll be working on avoiding those mistakes." 

Martinez said much of his film study occurs on his iPad in quiet moments after darkness falls.

"I really try to squeeze it in whenever I can," he said.

He might consider watching a bit more film of Frost's playing days at Nebraska. I don't remember Scott fumbling very often.

"He was a tough, gritty football player, and there's something to emulate there," Martinez said. "I think that's the type of head coach he is, and the type of player he's always been. He embodies what it means to be a Nebraska football player, a homegrown Nebraska football player."

Bottom line, Frost has been in Martinez's shoes, something the young QB doesn't take for granted.

"That was part of why I wanted to come to Nebraska so much, because I would have a head coach who could relate to me and also knows exactly where we need to go and how to accomplish that in his years," Martinez said.

Verduzco also is an integral piece of the puzzle, obviously. Yes, a formidable trio.

* Martinez didn't want to go into depth about the conversations he's had with Frost that focus on the young quarterback already being a center of attention in the state -- a situation that obviously can present challenges.

"A lot of our talks I'd like to keep pretty confidential because he trusts me with that sort of information," Martinez said. "Any piece of advice that he gives, I'd like to take it to heart."

Trust is too valuable to take for granted. I respect Martinez's response.

* It was sort of strange. Up until last week in Chicago, Frost hadn't been asked much (that I know of) for his thoughts regarding Nebraska's football facilities even though the topic has generated buzz for months. Listening to his response, it was clear the program has challenges or outright deficiencies in some critical areas such as meeting rooms, locker rooms, training room and weight room.

Yeah, that's a lot of challenges.

Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos reiterated there's nothing imminent regarding the possibility of a new, standalone football facility. He's generally been cautious with his words on the topic. He has to be cautious because of the financial commitment necessary for such a project, not to mention the inherent politics. 

Let's be clear: Nebraska needs a new football facility. Based on what I'm hearing, I think it'll get done. I think it has to get done.

* Illinois has no helmet laws for motorcyclists. That's just bizarre. I was in Chicago traffic; I'd consider body armor.

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


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