Jimmy’s blog: UT QB commit not scared of competition

Jimmy’s blog: UT QB commit not scared of competition

By Jimmy Hyams

In this day and age of instant gratification, quarterbacks are transferring at a dizzying pace.

In recent years, Texas A&M has had seven quarterbacks transfer or de-committ.

Florida has had three quarterbacks play well at Boston College, N.C. State and Louisiana Tech.

Tennessee has lost three quarterbacks in four years: Nathan Peterman (Pitt), Riley Ferguson (Memphis) and Sheriron Jones (undecided). Peterman and Ferguson starred at their new schools.

Alabama lost three quarterbacks in three months after true freshman Jalen Hurts won the starting job.

That brings us to Tennessee’s most recent football commit: four-star quarterback Adrian Martinez of Fresno, Calif.

Actions speak louder than words, but Martinez, unlike so many other quarterbacks, said he knew another quarterback from the Class of 2018 had already committed to Tennessee, Michael Penix. He knows about junior Quinten Dormady and redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano.

Didn’t matter. Martinez wasn’t dissuaded by the competition from picking Tennessee.

“Honestly, in my perspective, no matter where I would end up going I would have to compete with someone else,’’ Martinez told Josh Ward in an interview on WNML’s Sports 180 show. “I would have to compete with the guy in the class ahead of me, the class below me. It wouldn’t matter.

“So my whole mindset is whether it’s just me going in, or Mike and me and some other guy, it doesn’t matter. My mindset is to be the best I can be for the University of Tennessee and that’s becoming the starting quarterback regardless of who is there.

“I’m a competitor, and another guy doesn’t scare me away.’’

Martinez is well aware of the running exploits of former UT quarterback Josh Dobbs. Martinez thinks he can hurt teams with his legs but also his arm.

“I want to really be able to throw the ball, that’s ultimately what a quarterback has to do,’’ Martinez said. “He has to be able to make all the throws in the pocket. I really feel like I can bring both (running and passing) to the table in an effective way.’’

Martinez hopes to be a Pied Piper for the Class of 2018. He has compiled a list of recruits to pursue, provided by Jones.

Martinzez said he wants to convince prospects to buy into Jones’ message and believe Tennessee can “really accomplish something special.’’

Martinez added: “I know guys are going to want to play on a special team. People want to win a national championship. … I think that we can sell them on that. That is the goal moving forward, to convince them of what we have in place and what we can accomplish.’’

Martinez had been committed to California but de-committed two days after his UT visit. He said he suffered an undisclosed injury and that Cal “wavered.’’ Offers came pouring in from the likes of Alabama and Oklahoma and others.

But he picked Tennessee.

“Tennessee never wavered,’’ Martinez said. “(Quarterbacks) Coach (Mike) Canales and coach Jones, they never stopped believing in me, no matter what. … They proved they believe in me more than other schools by their actions.

“They made me a priority and convinced me I can truly be special in their system in the SEC. They have solid academics. And to play in front of 100,000 at Neyland stadium, it’s an opportunity I can’t pass up.’’

Martinez has been playing quarterback since he was 7 years old.

“I feel like I know what the position is about,’’ he said, noting the leadership and responsibilities and conduct necessary of quarterback. “And playing (quarterback) at the University of Tennessee, I don’t think it gets any better than that.’’

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