LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — While his teammates enjoyed some down time last week, Nebraska's Taylor Martinez spent spring break working on the area of his game that needs the most improvement.
Martinez went home to southern California and enlisted the help of quarterbacks coach Steve Calhoun to polish his technique as a passer.
Martinez's footwork, not his unconventional arm motion, was the focus of the sessions.
Washington's Keith Price and Western Athletic Conference freshman of the year Cody Fajardo of Nevada also joined in the workouts.
Martinez said he applied what he learned from Calhoun during Monday's practice and knows it will take time to get comfortable.
"If you try to change anything, it will feel different at first," Martinez said. "Once you get used to it you'll be pretty good at it."
Martinez completed 56 percent of his passes last season for 2,089 yards and 13 touchdowns, but he struggled with passing behind receivers, measuring the deep ball and throwing off his back foot.
Martinez said Calhoun worked with him on maintaining balance and setting his body properly.
Coach Bo Pelini said he's noticed the extra work Martinez and other players have put in this spring.
"We've done some different things here in the offseason," Pelini said. "We've communicated about where we are and where we see ourselves going."
Running back Aaron Green said Pelini set the agenda for the season at the first meeting this spring.
"Coach Bo said it straight: Us being a good team wasn't good enough," Green said. "Nine wins, 10 wins... He let it be known we're going for the ultimate top. That's the national championship, the Big Ten championship first. He set the tone and we're following after him."
Martinez has said repeatedly since the Capital One Bowl loss to South Carolina that he'll be disappointed if the Huskers don't play for a national title.
Asked Monday why he would set such an ambitious goal after his team finished third in its division in the Big Ten, Martinez said, "Every player needs to have high goals. If a player doesn't have high goals to play for a national championship, they shouldn't play football."