Adrian Martinez 2019 Outlook


As a true freshman, Adrian Martinez had a remarkable season. With over 2600 yards passing and another 600 rushing and 25 total TDs, he had a good season for a player of any age. I wanted to look at how Martinez stacks up against other players who went on to start three and four for their teams. While looking at specifically true freshman might provide a better comparable to Martinez, I didn’t have the information readily available. Instead I will be focusing on 3+ year starter QBs first seasons. For this analysis I only considered QBs who have played since 2009 to focus on more recent players. A player also needed to have played in 9 games during that season for the analysis.

I wanted to start with how Martinez season compared to two other players to play under Scott Frost as either an OC or HC – Marcus Mariota and McKenzie Milton. (Note: During Mariota's freshman season, Frost was the WR coach at Oregon. He moved to OC/QB coach before Mariota's sophomore year at Oregon.)

Scott Frost Freshman QBs
Name
School
Conf
G
Comp
Att
Pct
Yds
TDs
Ints
Rush.Att
Rush.Yds
Rush.TDs
Adrian Martinez
Nebraska
Big Ten
11
20.36
31.55
64.55%
237.91
1.55
0.73
12.73
57.18
0.73
Marcus Mariota
Oregon
Pac-12
13
17.69
25.85
68.45%
205.92
2.46
0.46
8.15
57.85
0.38
McKenzie Milton
UCF
American
10
19.40
33.60
57.74%
198.30
1.00
0.70
10.00
15.80
0.30

Martinez in most statistics ranks between the two other QBs. He did throw for significantly more yards than either QB while his TDs greatly trailed the former Heisman winner and second overall pick Marcus Mariota. He was also slightly less accurate than Mariota but this would be expected as Mariota had a redshirt year under his belt before his first season leading the Ducks. Milton had a decent freshman season before a breakout sophomore year leading the Knights to a perfect season.

So how have other 3+ year starters fared at QB?

Three Year Starters
Year
Comp
Att
Pct
Yards
TD
Int
Rush.Att
Rush.Yds
Rush.TD
Year 1
17.84
29.41
60.64%
211.45
1.49
0.82
7.27
17.78
0.32
Year 2
20.48
32.98
62.10%
253.23
1.91
0.77
7.53
19.81
0.40
Year 3
20.36
32.26
63.12%
253.57
1.90
0.72
7.06
17.95
0.36

Three year starters see a big jump in production between years 1 and 2. Interceptions drop each year for these QBs as well. Between years 2 and 3 yards and TDs remain similar.

Four Year Starters
Year
Comp
Att
Pct
Yards
TD
Int
Rush.Att
Rush.Yds
Rush.TD
Year 1
16.34
27.12
60.25%
188.89
1.20
0.87
6.63
12.55
0.24
Year 2
19.59
31.76
61.69%
235.17
1.83
0.85
6.23
13.38
0.24
Year 3
20.30
32.50
62.47%
241.17
1.72
0.78
6.34
12.82
0.33
Year 4
20.43
32.85
62.19%
250.49
1.85
0.77
6.53
15.89
0.39

Of the four-year players, first years are predictably the worst. Except in very unique circumstances, these players are all freshman. Its to be expected that these freshmen would struggle leading a college football team as a teenager. Let’s assume Martinez goes on to become a four-year starter at Nebraska, however, I think there’s a real chance that he could be a part of the 2021 NFL Draft. Martinez averaged nearly 50 yards per game more than the average first year starter. His TD numbers also far surpassed those of a first year QB while throwing fewer interceptions than the average upperclassman.

The hype for Adrian Martinez’s 2019 season is real but is it warranted? If Martinez has an average sophomore jump for four-year starters, his sophomore numbers will look very similar to Mariota and Milton should he play 13 games this season.

Scott Frost Sophomore QBs
Name
School
Conf
G
Comp
Att
Avg
Yards
TD
Int
Rush.Att
Rush.Yds
Rush.TD
Year
Marcus Mariota
Oregon
Pac-12
13
245
386
63.5%
3665
31
4
96
715
9
2013
McKenzie Milton
UCF
American
13
265
395
67.1%
4037
37
9
106
613
8
2017
Adrian Martinez (Projections)
Nebraska
Big Ten
13
317
480
66.1%
3851
31
9
155
792
9
2019

Martinez passing yards is right between Frost’s other two previous sophomore QBs. His TD and Int totals are both on the wrong side of the range that we would want them, but it is overall a very solid year. The volume of plays is likely higher than I would expect Martinez to actually be used this upcoming season. Only four QBs have thrown the ball 480 times while also having 150+ rushing attempts. Taylor Kelly of ASU in 2013, Trevone Boykin of TCU in 2014, and Deshaun Watson of Clemson in 2015 and 2016.

So, what does this all mean? First, as anyone who watched Martinez throughout last year knows, he’s a special player at the QB position. Second, the hype is justified. While I wouldn’t be willing to bet on him winning the Heisman on 2019, he should become a household name. An All Big Ten team selection would be a reasonable expectation for this season. He's definitely in a class above when it comes to most first year QBs. If he can keep growing for 3 or 4 seasons at Nebraska, he will leave his mark on college football.

Update: I previously implied that Mariota played his freshman season under Frost. Frost was the WR coach at Oregon that season. Frost was the OC/QB coach for Mariota's final two seasons at Oregon.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Big Ten Recruiting 2017-2020

Husker Recuriting Since 2004

Six Year Review of the Husker Offense