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04.19.2010 / Huskers Red White Game Recap. Posting by Mike Babcock, Huskers Illustrated Magazine.

Taylor Martinez almost certainly would have been the most requested player for interviews following the Nebraska Red White intrasquad scrimmage. However, those who have yet to see action on the field are off limits to reporters.

"A year ago, Green was the fan favorite as the new guy. Now, Martinez is."

Unfortunately, that's coach Bo Pelini’s policy.

Martinez is a freshman who redshirted in the fall. He also plays quarterback. And quarterbacks who have yet to play always seem to capture the imagination of fans and sports reporters.

Particularly quarterbacks who can run the way Martinez can run. He’s among the team’s fastest players. “His first two steps are fast,” Niles Paul said following a practice in early April.

Paul, a wide receiver, also is among the team’s fastest players. And he was suggesting which of his teammates would pose a serious challenge in a footrace. His list included cornerback Prince Amukamara, wide receiver Curenski Gilleylen, I-back Roy Helu, Jr. and Martinez.

“That’d definitely be a competitive race,” Paul said. “I think I’d win. That’s just how I feel.”

Paul’s prediction was good-natured, of course. And that’s not the point, anyway.

The point is, Martinez, “he’s a fast guy,” said Paul. “He gets out there, he gets going.”

Those who watched the Red-White scrimmage, no doubt, would agree, based on their reaction when Martinez tucked away the ball and ran. He was the afternoon’s leading rusher, in fact. Scrimmage stats don’t matter. But for the record, he rushed for 60 yards on nine carries.

The guy can certainly run. In order to play quarterback, however, he also needs to be able to pass, as well as manage the offense. And those are areas in which he is still developing.

A couple of other things must be considered regarding the chances of seeing Martinez in action come fall. First, senior Zac Lee, who was sidelined in the spring, is the returning starter at quarterback. Second, sophomore Cody Green has a season’s experience as Lee’s back-up. Plus, he started two games.

A year ago, Green was the fan favorite as the new guy. Now, Martinez is.

How soon reporters will be able to request an interview with him is uncertain, though.

“Everyone is in the race for the starting job,” Pelini said in response to a question specifically about the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Martinez. “Taylor is a good athlete. I think he can run. He can throw. I think he is a pretty multi-talented kid, as is Cody. I like the athleticism at the quarterback position.”

So acknowledge Martinez’s skills. But don’t forget Lee and Green.

 

Tell us what your take on Martinez's performance was? Who's going to be the starter this year? Let's hear it...

 

For more great content on the Huskers, check out Huskers Illustrated Magazine or huskersillustrated.com.

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