Nebraska football: Huskers’ Adrian Martinez earns spot on Maxwell Award watch list

PISCATAWAY, NJ – DECEMBER 18: Adrian Martinez #2 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers runs with the ball during a regular season game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at SHI Stadium on December 18, 2020 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)

Nebraska football’s starting quarterback earned his spot on a pretty prestigious watch list. The Maxwell Award is keeping tabs on how the Huskers’ Adrian Martinez does this season.

The Cornhuskers are hoping to have a better year in 2021. Should the Huskers have any sort of meaningful improvement, it’ll be because of their starting quarterback.

Adrian Martinez has been a part of the Nebraska football program for a few years now and he’s been given a bit of preseason respect, but he’ll need to play at a higher level during the 2021 season than he has so far in his career actually earn it.

The committee for the Maxwell Award, the award presented to the best player in all of college football each and every year, has placed the starting quarterback for the Nebraska Cornhuskers on the 2021 preseason Maxwell Award watch list.

That’s a pretty good list for Martinez to be on as he prepares to head into the 2021 Nebraska football season.

Nebraska football: Adrian Martinez has been a decent starting quarterback for the Huskers throughout his career

Martinez is headed into his fourth season with the Nebraska Cornhuskers and his career has seen its shares of highs and lows, but he’s generally been a fairly decent starting quarterback for the Huskers as Scott Frost has tried to rebuild this once-proud program.

But fairly decent is about as good as Martinez has been, through most of his career. He’s had some high moments where he’s been good, but Martinez has never been consistently great for Nebraska.

In total, Martinez has completed 64.2 percent of his passes and has thrown for 5,628 yards and 31 touchdowns, but unfortunately for the Huskers, he’s also tossed 20 interceptions.

During the 2020 season in which he split time with Luke McCaffrey, Martinez completed a career-high 71.5 percent of his passes (which is great) but only had four touchdown passes to go with three interceptions (which is not great).

But, while he’s had his share of struggles at times with throwing the ball, Martinez has consistently been a dynamic rusher. The talented duel threat quarterback has run for 1,776 yards and 22 touchdowns in his Husker football career.

Adrian Martinez has an opportunity to take a step forward this season, but the Huskers will absolutely need him to step up this season

Entering into 2021, Martinez has to be consistent while on the field and he needs to play at a higher level. The Huskers haven’t seen much success over the past decade and this is theoretically a year in which they could take a step forward, but it starts with Frost’s offense and Nebraska’s starting quarterback.

If the Nebraska football team continues to struggle on offense all year like it’s done in previous seasons with Martinez leading the offense and Frost leading the team, fans will continue to grow impatient, just as they’ve done in the past couple of years.

There’s no doubting that Martinez is talented and has the tools to succeed in Frost’s offense.

When he was in high school, Martinez signed with the Nebraska football team as a four-star recruit. He was sought after by many teams across the country and Nebraska beat out the likes of Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Arizona, Miami, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Washington State, and so many other institutions.

But this year, during the 2021 Nebraska football season, the Huskers really need Martinez to live up to his potential.

He’ll have opportunities against inferior foes to rack up stats and get some wins, but Martinez will need to play well against the likes of Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Wisconsin to be able to win the Maxwell Award.

Of course, Nebraska football fans will simply want their starting quarterback to play well against those foes, regardless of the postseason award implications.