Adrian Martinez clapping
Adrian Martinez entered the transfer portal Thursday after four seasons starting for the Huskers at quarterback. He is the all-time program leader in total offensive yards with 10,792. Photo courtesy of Husker Athletics.

After four years as the starting quarterback for the Cornhuskers, Adrian Martinez has announced he will forgo his fifth season at Nebraska and enter the transfer portal, bringing an end to an era that saw many ups and downs for him and the program. 

Martinez, who announced his decision via Twitter, has been at the helm of Nebraska’s offense since the 2018 season and his tenure as the starting quarterback has been filled with controversy and questions. 

“The University of Nebraska will always be a place I can call home,” Martinez said in his announcement. “It has been an honor and a privilege to represent the N for four years.”

Martinez will finish as one of the more statistically impressive quarterbacks in Nebraska’s history.

In his four years at Nebraska, Martinez accumulated 10,792 all purpose offensive yards, the most in Nebraska history. He was also responsible for 80 total touchdowns, 45 in the air and 35 on the ground. 

Martinez thanked multiple coaches including Scott Frost, who recruited Martinez to be his first starting quarterback as the Nebraska head coach. 

“I want to thank coach Frost, Verduzco and the rest of the staff for giving me an opportunity to play for such a great university,” he wrote. 

His first season at Nebraska got off to a slow start, the team lost its first six games, but it ended on a high note, winning five of his last seven games.

Going into 2019, Martinez’s name was thrown around in pre-season Heisman Award conversations and Nebraska was ranked inside the top 25. The Huskers finished the season 5-7. 

The 2020 season, played amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, was also filled with disappointment for the program. The Huskers finished with a 3-5 record, and the team voted to decline a bowl game invitation. 

Martinez’s final season was filled with close losses and coaching staff changes. The Huskers finished 3-9 and with a zero point differential in Big Ten play, although finishing 1-8 in those games. 

Martinez’s final game was against Wisconsin in week 12. He missed the final game of the season against Iowa with a shoulder injury. 

This now means the program will be in the look for a starting quarterback in addition to four new offensive coaches this offseason. It is possible that freshman quarterback Logan Smothers, who started for the Huskers against Iowa last Friday, gets the reins to the offense in 2022. It’s also possible that the university turns to the transfer portal, which includes a variety of starting quarterbacks, to find his replacement. 

“I will always be a Nebraska Cornhusker at heart and a proud alum,” Martinez said in his social media statement.

 

I am a junior sports media and communications major at UNL. I grew up in Morgan Hill, California and moved to Nebraska to attend school in 2019. I aspire to be a journalist when I graduate college and hope to tell stories that inform and educate the public.