Nebraska Football: Sizing Up the Latest Martinez to Join the Huskers
Nebraska's 2013 recruiting class is winding down, with 22 verbal commitments, per 247Sports.com. There might be a couple more—offensive tackle Dwayne Johnson is deciding between Nebraska and Arkansas, and per 247Sports.com, Nebraska is making a late push at CB Jacquille Veii, but by and large the class is what it will be.
One of the latest commits is safety/OLB Drake Martinez, from California. Yes, a Martinez from California heading to Nebraska. He is, in fact, Taylor's younger brother.
He is also one of the least contact-averse people we've seen on film. This reel is long but entertaining. Enjoy.
Martinez recently came from a visit to Michigan State (who offered him a couple weeks ago) before committing to Nebraska, and per 247Sports.com, he also boasted an offer from San Diego State. He's a 3-star prospect—not a game-changer the moment he sets foot on campus, but the kind of guy you try to develop with reasonable expectations of starting and maybe getting into the NFL.
How Martinez fills out his 6'2", 205-pound frame will dictate where he ends up on the field. He's got the downhill nose you would want out of a strong safety or outside linebacker. Free safety seems less suited for him, though it's worth noting that Nebraska's depth chart does not distinguish between the two safety spots.
And really, if head coach Bo Pelini were interested in one of those "rover" or "star" positions (or whatever he wants to call the SS/OLB hybrid that populates a few collegiate defenses these days), Martinez looks like an ideal candidate.
The first, most obvious candidate for comparison for Drake Martinez is, of course, Taylor Martinez. They're brothers with similar frames and athleticism, after all. And who knows, if Taylor had played safety instead of quarterback, he might have played it the way Drake does.
But since they're on opposite ends of the field, one should look for a corollary at strong safety for Drake Martinez, and it just so happens that Nebraska's departing safety, Daimion Stafford, is a fantastic comparison point.
Both players are rangy, well built, aggressive and fast. Stafford made a living flying all over the field and it garnered him well-deserved All-Big Ten recognition by his senior season. Stafford was a big hitter and a ballhawk in pass coverage and Martinez looks like he'll be at that level in due time.
Where Stafford is now is a good goal for Martinez's future. Martinez has a lot of work left to do, as do about 99 percent of incoming freshmen at the FBS level, but the potential is there.
Last thing: If Martinez ends up on the first string, we've got to start calling him "D-Magic," right? It fits too well not to.
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