Tennessee is looking to recapture its glory from the 1990s. Join us daily at SEC Country for the latest Tennessee recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Volunteers. Check out previous editions here. In this edition, we discuss Tennessee quarterback commit Adrian Martinez and his recruitment.
Tennessee had two commits publicly open their recruitment on Monday and Tuesday of this week and there are rumors of more commits doing the same.
This has to do with the poor play from the Vols this season and the rumors about coach Butch Jones’ job security.
Tennessee quarterback commit Adrian Martinez sounds like he isn’t wavering at all in his commitment. He spoke with Josh Ward on SEC Country’s Rocky Top Podcast on Tuesday.
“I’m all in right now,” Martinez said. “I have faith in our coaching staff and this program. The more I’m around it, the more I learn about it, it just makes me want to be a part of it even more. Being at that game made me appreciate it even more. I want to be there and I want to play in front of that big crowd.”
This has to come as great news to Tennessee fans. Martinez rates as a 4-star prospect and ranks as the No. 7 dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2018, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Martinez saw his first game at Neyland Stadium last Saturday. The Vols absorbed a bad 41-0 loss to Georgia, but it didn’t make the weekend a failure.
“Obviously, we didn’t get the outcome we wanted,” Martinez said. “But everything else was great. There is a family atmosphere that makes me want to be there even sooner. I wish I could be there right now.”
Martinez says all the right things when asked about Jones and his job security. I’ve received questions regarding Martinez and his commitment if Jones were to be fired. Martinez’s mind hasn’t reached that point yet.
“I have all the confidence in the world in coach,” Martinez said. “I love him like family. He’s been great to me and my family and the other commits.”
I think Martinez would stay if a coach was hired that can use a dual-threat quarterback in his system. Martinez has been impressed with more than just the coaching staff in Knoxville, Tenn.
“Just how into [it] the fans are and how loyal they are to the team,” Martinez said. “Even though things didn’t go our way, no one left until deep in the fourth quarter. I thought that speaks volumes to how loyal they are to the program.”
Keeping the class together
Martinez has played the role of the leader of the Class of 2018 for the Vols.
“That’s kind of the role of a quarterback,” Martinez said. “I want to establish that early. I want to be someone those guys feel they can come to for anything. Just to be that guy for them so they can trust me out there on that field.
“I want them to feel stable in that I’m not going anywhere and that they can trust me and get this done.”
Martinez believes this class has a chance to win the SEC East and compete for championships. This is why he chose the Vols and has helped recruit other prospects so hard.
“I really believe in the group of guys that we have,” Martinez said. “If we really work hard and if I really work hard, we can do some special things. I think with our coaching staff, we can really do that.”
Tennessee has the best class this cycle in the SEC, according to the 247Sports team rankings.
“We really have a special group,” Martinez said. “They are guys that love the university and want to win.”
Coming back from injury
A shoulder injury has sidelined Martinez for his entire senior season. He plans to be healthy and play in the Under Armour All-American game on Jan. 4 in Orlando, Fla.
“Feeling really good right now,” Martinez said. “It’s just a matter of getting to throw deeper routes and kind of progressing that way. I’m doing really well, starting to throw it 30 yards consistently. I can throw further than that, but I’m staying conservative with it.”
The injury could be a hidden positive for Tennessee because he won’t have any senior season video for other colleges to see. It might deter some programs to reach out to the talented prospect.
Miss a previous edition? Find all your SEC Country Tennessee Vols recruiting news here.