Adrian Martinez won’t be taking any hits during Nebraska football’s spring practice. That was the official announcement by head coach Scott Frost made Monday afternoon.
According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Frost made it clear that his quarterback will be wearing the green “no-contact” jersey for the entirety of the spring. That means the next time he’ll undergo any kind of real pass rush or test out whether or not he’s physically sound is this fall when practices start to gear up for the season.
That announcement also means the quarterback competition, if there is to be one, has been put on hold. Frost also announced Martinez is officially the number one quarterback right now.
While he didn’t commit entirely to Martinez holding that title all the way to the spring, it would seem difficult to unseat someone who isn’t “full-go” in practice. The idea that there won’t be a full competition for the starting signal-caller might disappoint some Cornhusker fans, but Frost did say he’s not guaranteeing Martinez will be the man come opening day.
At the same time, Nebraska’s head coach wants to make it clear the man who has been the starter since he’s been in Lincoln has his support.
“Can’t say a lot about it right now, other than he seems like he’s in a really good place. I’ve lived this. The quarterback’s struggles are the team’s struggles, and the team’s struggles are the quarterback’s struggles.”
Frost added that Martinez cares as much as anyone on the team.
While Adrian Martinez will be getting most of the snaps starting out with the top offensive unit, Frost did say Luke McCaffrey and Noah Vedral will be getting snaps as well. They will both be getting at least some reps with the number one offense during the spring.
Nebraska‘s head coach also said that if McCaffrey is unable to win the starting quarterback job, the staff might look at him for another position. Frost added he’s competing for the top QB job at the moment, but if things shake out a certain way after the spring, a position change isn’t out of the question.
Adrian Martinez suffered through what many saw as a disappointing sophomore season after exploding on the scene as a true freshman. While his rushing numbers were nearly identical, he threw 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2019 after 17 TDs and just eight INTs in his freshman campaign. Yards and completion percentage were also way down.
Over the course of the season, Nebraska’s coaching staff alluded to Martinez being banged up but never offered specifics. On Monday, Frost told the media Martinez had undergone surgery on his non-throwing shoulder. It’s recovery from that surgery that makes it necessary to keep him away from contact for the time being.