"He's a smooth athlete. He looks like he's got a short neck when he's in his pads, because everything else about him looks like he should be 6-foot-4," said FOX Sports Scouting Director Scott Kennedy, who got to see Martinez in the All-Star contest. "He's got long arms, long legs, and a long stride.”
6-foot-2, 200-pounds / Laguna Beach HS (CA)
Scott Kennedy, Director of Scouting for FOX Sports
Senior Honors: All-County by the Orange Country Register / Selected for the Canyon Coast All-Star Game
Senior Stats: 1,613 rushing yards and 30+ overall touchdowns / 130 tackles and four interceptions
The Lowdown: The brother of Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez, Drake joins the Huskers after being one of the best two-way players in the state of California in 2012.
“I tried to be a little hands off in that recruiting to a certain extent, and have a respect for the fact that I think Drake knew I wanted him here,” said Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini. “In fact I was probably too hands off at times by giving him some space and when the times right he would tell me. It started to get a little too close so I got on the phone and we talked about it and tried and figure everything out. It became really clear that he knew this was the place for him and this was a tremendous opportunity for him. I’m thrilled because I think he has potential to be a heck of a football player.”
Pelini's comments regarding Martinez at the Nebraska National Signing Day press conference excited the California prospect.
“It makes me really fired up,” said Martinez. “My eighth grade year my dad showed him a highlight clip and Bo said he would have offered then if it hadn't been illegal. His comments really pumped me up.”
After showing the ability to be an effective running back, Nebraska will start Martinez on the defensive side of the football.
“He is young man that can play a lot of positions,” said Pelini. “We are starting him off on defense at the safety position. We knew he was talented but at the same time it is different for a young man when his brother is here. I didn’t want to make him feel pressured by us, or anybody because his brother plays here and it is expected he comes here and plays.”
While he didn't commit to Nebraska until the last day in January, Martinez always seemed destined to be an eventual Husker. He did visit Michigan State late in the recruiting process, but felt Lincoln and playing with his brother was a best fit.
“We are very close and when he found out that I was coming to Nebraska, he was really pumped up. We have never played together before because he was always a couple years ahead of me,” said Martinez, who took his official visit to Nebraska in late October. “I knew all the coaches coming in, so I don't know how much different it really was. Getting to see all the facilities and stuff that time around, I guess it brought up my interest.”
Martinez prides himself on his speed and instincts, saying he always feels like he's around the football. The 2013 prospect feels he could play position, but is glad to be getting a chance at safety.
“I definitely like playing defense better, I'm more of a hitter than a runner,” said Martinez.
Why Nebraska: “I have known for Bo for about five years now. My eighth grade year, he came out to my house recruiting Taylor. So I have a good relationship with him. I'm just really comfortable with him and the University because of it.”
Who Else: Michigan State, San Diego State, and Vanderbilt
Who Recruited Him: Tim Beck and Rich Fisher
BRR Projection: It's easy to see Martinez is made for the safety spot. At 200 pounds, he's got another 20 to 25 pounds in his frame for the position down the road.