Nebraska Football: Former Husker Adrian Martinez suddenly in elite company

Adrian Martinez runs past running back Deuce Vaughn for a touchdown (Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports)
Adrian Martinez runs past running back Deuce Vaughn for a touchdown (Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports) /

Former Nebraska football star Adrian Martinez is now a Kansas State star. In fact, it’s appearing as though he’s ascending to a college football star after yet another game where he was the best player on the field. Paired with his performance against the Oklahoma Sooners, Martinez has now entered into a space he’s sharing with some elite NCAA football quarterbacks.

It’s shocking that three weeks ago, it seemed as though Adrian Martinez might be on his way to the bench for Kansas State. Since he got called out by head coach Chris Klieman, he’s stepped up in a big way.

For the Wildcats against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Martinez completed 13-of-20 passes for a modest 122 yards and a touchdown. However, on the ground, he ran for 190 yards on just 11 carries and three touchdowns. Paired with last week’s performance against Oklahoma (17 for 146, 4 TDs) and he’s done something that only two other quarterbacks have done in college football in the last 15 years.

Martinez’s 336 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground mean that only he, Cam Newton and Lamar Jackson have managed 300 yards and seven touchdowns in a two-game span over the last decade and a half.

Considering that Martinez suddenly finds himself among quarterbacks that have and had very successful NFL careers, those numbers should indeed be eyebrow-raising. In all, the former Nebraska football star is putting together his best career season. According to PFF, he’s got an overall offensive rating of 84.2 compared to his previous high of 78.2 in his junior season.

On the season, the once Nebraska football signal-caller is on pace to shatter his previous rushing yards highs, which is impressive, especially since there were times when he was leaned on by Scott Frost to be the offense for the Huskers.

The quarterback’s 469 yards is just 160 shy of his career high for a season. The way he’s gone lately, he could surpass that next week. He’s also already got nine touchdowns on the ground. That’s just four shy of his career high of 13 last year.

What’s almost certainly more important for Martinez is that with the Wildcats sitting at 4-1 on the season, it appears he’s about to do something he never did with the Nebraska football team. He’s likely going to a bowl game in his final year of college football.