Nebraska Football: Adrian Martinez is the unquestioned QB1 in 2021

Adrian Martinez #2 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
Adrian Martinez #2 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /

Nebraska football won’t have any questions surrounding who their starting quarterback is going to be this year. Adrian Martinez is the Huskers’ starting quarterback for the 2021 season.

Martinez entered the program at the same time as head coach Scott Frost back in 2018 and that could be why Frost has been so loyal to him throughout his tenure in Lincoln. Martinez started off great, wowing Husker fans as a freshman in 2018 but he hasn’t been able to replicate his performance that season.

That being said, Martinez enters his fourth season with the Huskers and he’ll be the unquestioned starting quarterback. It hasn’t always been great for Martinez and last year was his toughest season yet, as he threw for just 1,055 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions while rushing for 521 yards and seven touchdowns.

Martinez looked good in Nebraska’s spring game last weekend, going 12-of-20 for 127 yards and an interception through the air while adding another 49 yards with his legs, per Hail Varsity’s spring game stats.

Adrian Martinez is the starting quarterback for Nebraska football in 2021.

Last year there was controversy surrounding the starting quarterback spot, as the Huskers had both Martinez and Luke McCaffrey vying for the role. Martinez was named the starter initially but lost his job at one point only to reclaim it later. McCaffrey transferred this offseason and with Logan Smothers, Heinrich Haarberg, and Matt Masker not taking a single snap for Nebraska, Martinez is the obvious choice as the starter.

This isn’t to say that one of these guys couldn’t challenge Martinez should he struggle this season. Both Smothers and Haarberg played well in the spring game with Smothers going 8-of-13 for 76 yards and a touchdown and Haarberg completing 9-of-23 passes for 121 yards while throwing a touchdown and interception apiece.

Smothers has impressed Frost and is someone who Husker fans have been clamoring to see more of. Don’t be surprised if he pushes Martinez this year should the QB1 struggle at any point. Haarberg is another intriguing player and fans were excited to see him in action over the weekend.

Martinez has a lot to prove in 2021. He fizzled after a promising freshman season and while he could exercise his extra year of eligibility and return in 2022, this could be his curtain call. Steven Sipple of the Lincoln Star Journal wrote that with a decent performance in 2021, the NFL could be a possibility for Martinez.

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There’s a lot on the line for Adrian Martinez in what could be the final year of his college football career. Hopefully, Husker fans see the spring game version of Martinez on a weekly basis this season and he goes out with a bang.