As far as freshman seasons for quarterbacks whose teams finished two wins short of a bowl game, Adrian Martinez is getting all sorts of hype heading into his second year under center for Nebraska football.
Martinez finished with 2,617 yards, 17 touchdowns, and eight interceptions through 11 games. He completed over 64-percent of his throws, for a solid 7.54 yards per attempt.
He was also a real threat on the ground, and a part of a very good Huskers rushing attack. Martinez carried the rock 140 times for 629 yards and eight additional scores.
Those numbers are not Heisman-worthy. However, assuming the team takes a leap forward as a whole in 2019, sophomore Adrian Martinez could be in the running.
Adrian Martinez is already drawing some Heisman Trophy hype, days removed from Kyler Murray capturing the 2018 award.
Right now, the award looks like Tua Tagovailoa’s to lose. Of course, the preseason Heisman favorite rarely winds up taking it wire-to-wire and winning the award.
Tagovailoa opens as a major favorite at +200 over at MyBookie, courtesy of the Action Network. Martinez is a few spots down, with the 14th best odds to win it at +2000. That puts him tied with Tagovailoa teammate (and likely transfer) Jalen Hurts, Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello, and Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin.
Publications have Martinez mentioned in their early lists for the award, as well. Bleacher Report put him No. 8 on its new watch list.
“The 6’2″, 220-pound quarterback from Fresno finished the year having completed 64.6 percent of his passes for 2,617 yards, 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He added 629 rushing yards and eight more scores on the ground, proving to the nation he is worth the price of a ticket.
“He’s only going to get better as he grows and matures and gets more star athletes around him. Martinez ran the ball nearly 13 times a game, and that probably needs to decrease if he’s going to stay healthy. But it will once the offense gets in a groove. When that happens, the sky is the limit.”
USA Today‘s Paul Myerberg did B/R one better, putting Martinez at No. 7.
“As a true freshman in 2018, Martinez threw for 2,617 yards with 17 touchdowns with another 629 rushing yards despite missing all of one game and being physically limited in several others with a knee injury. As seen during his coaching career, Frost’s quarterbacks explode as second-year starters. Martinez will be no exception.”
Former Scott Frost quarterback McKenzie Milton finished sixth in this year’s Heisman voting, even after missing the AAC Championship Game against Memphis. With a full year in Frost’s system, and some talent developing around him, Martinez could put up some wild numbers next year.