Since California athletic director Mike Williams dismissed Sonny Dykes and hired Justin Wilcox as the Bears' new head coach, college football's blue bloods have smelled blood in the water, particularly where it concerns 2018 quarterback commit Adrian Martinez.
The No. 21 quarterback in the 2018 class has pulled down offers from Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Oregon, West Virginia and Washington State since his commitment to Cal, with the Crimson Tide, Sun Devils, Bulldogs, Volunteers and Ducks recently coming in rapid succession.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1730219-adrian-martinez-co... "Yeah, so obviously, I'm still committed to Cal. If I wasn't, I would have said otherwise," said Martinez. "I still am in love with the school, the academic side of it, the area, the potential to play there. All those things are still there for me. It's just a matter of developing a relationship with the current coaching staff, and really getting a better feel for them. That's pretty much where it stands right now. Due to that, my recruiting process has kind of opened up a little bit more. Schools are noticing that other schools are offering me, so they're more jumping on ship and seeing if I would consider them. I'll see. I'll be taking some visits this spring, just to shore up my decision to make sure that the one I made is the right one."
This spring, Martinez will "most likely" head to Knoxville, Tenn., and Tempe, Ariz., as well as Berkeley for the eighth time on April 8.
"We'll see from there," he said. "[Tennessee and Arizona State] are the two schools who have really been recruiting me the hardest. We'll just have to see how this relationship develops with Oregon, as well, once I get to know their staff a little bit better, and we'll see where things take us. Also, I've been talking a lot with coach [Jeff] Tedford and the people at Fresno State, so we'll just have to see where things take me."
Cal fans are understandably nervous, especially as Martinez decided to remove "Cal commit" from his Twitter bio, and switched out his Twitter header from a photo depicting a sunset over the Campanile to simple black and white text, reading "God • Family • Football."
"I just kind of wanted to make it more generic. I wouldn't say it was towards Cal, for any reason," Martinez said. "I'm obviously still committed, so, no, I wouldn't say it was for any reason like that."
One of the reasons other programs are pouncing is the fact that the Bears are going to take two quarterbacks in the 2018 class, a decision the staff communicated to him before making offers to Colson Yankoff (who's since committed to Washington) and Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
"Really, they told me about a week or two before they offered another quarterback that they were most likely going to be wanting to take two quarterbacks in my class, and they'd be offering other guys, and to not take offense, which is good," Martinez said. "They were honest and up-front with me, which I like. That's pretty much where things stand.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1744541-adrian-martinez-ta... "They want to get at least five quarterbacks on the roster. That is coach Wilcox's philosophy, so that's what they told me. Part of that is, I want to go into the best situation possible, and I'm obviously not going to escape competition, anywhere, no matter where I go, but coming in with another guy isn't usually ideal. It's not going to be a deal-breaker, but it's not ideal."
Martinez -- who completed 60.1% of his passes for 2,562 yards last season, and ran for 1,462 yards -- is a pragmatist when it comes to the new recruiting attention. He wants to hear what his new suitors have to say, while continuing to build his relationship with Cal's staff, including Wilcox offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin.
"Coach Wilcox, he's amazing," Martinez said. "I've talked with him a few times on the phone. I met him in person. He's a relaxed, laid-back guy. He's pretty cool. We can talk about anything from what book I'm reading to what my school assignment is, an essay, to actual football. He's a really cool guy. I like him a lot. The only problem with that is, as much as I like him and as much as I'd like to play with him, at the end of the day, I wouldn't really be in any meetings with him, as far as offensive meetings. He's more of a defensive guy, so that's a bigger thing. Coach Baldwin, he's a really cool guy. I've gotten to talk with him, too. He sees me fitting in perfectly with what they want to do in their offense."
Martinez's film was one of the first reels Baldwin watched upon being hired by Wilcox.
"He said as soon as he saw me, he loved my film, and he was really pumped that they had me as a commit, and the guy to lead their offense," Martinez said. "He was really excited, which I liked a lot. That was awesome. Coach Baldwin, he really expressed how much he really thought I fit in their system, and that I could do really good things."
Soon after, Martinez and his father drove up to Berkeley.
"I actually drove up there the day that Cal basketball played Stanford, at Cal," Martinez said. "A lot of the coaches were still kind of getting in, and their offices weren't completely set up. We went up there, and one of the recruiting people drove us around in the golf cart. Then, I met with coach Baldwin, for probably a two-hour film session. We talked about getting to know each other, and we really hit it off. I like coach Baldwin a lot. We went over film and how I fit and where I stand with things, which was cool, you know.
"He told me then that they were going to develop a relationship, and that they really liked my game and stuff like that. Really, in this process, it's been, 'Does this coaching staff really want me to be their guy?' That is the biggest thing I would say, if I'm being completely truthful -- Does this coaching staff think that I can be their guy?"
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1730361-beyond-the-commitm... The coach who originally offered Martinez at Cal -- Jake Spavital -- built a strong foundation with the 6-foot-3, 185-pounder, and one he continued to build by offering Martinez as soon as he took the job as the West Virginia offensive coordinator.
"Coach Spavital, he was the first one to really believe in me, a Power 5 team, the first to offer me," Martinez said. "He obviously hit me up and we hit it off. He was big. He proved it through his actions, and so I'm seeing how this coaching staff does, and how they react and really, you know, what they'll do, how they think I fit. Coach Wilcox has expressed that to me, coach Baldwin has done a great job, so we'll just have to see where things will take us.
"I thought [the West Virginia offer] was awesome. It was funny, because he thought that I just knew that I had an offer there. He's kind of talking like, 'We already offered you; you know that, right?' I was like, 'Oh, I wasn't really sure. I didn't know that.' He's like, 'Yeah, you should have known that, as soon as I got the job here, you had an offer here.' He's really displayed that confidence in me, and my abilities, through it all. I want that from the current staff at Cal, if that makes sense."
The current Cal staff, Martinez said, is moving in that direction -- showing him that he is their guy.
"Yeah. They definitely have," he said. "They've definitely made an effort, and have shown me that interest, and told me that they're confident they want me to be the guy, going forward. Obviously, they want to take two in my class, still, so it's just difficult. I still really love the school, and I think it's a really good fit, especially with the offense that they want to run. It'll just be a matter of seeing what's the best situation for me, and really seeing if the coaching staff believes in me and believes I can come in and really make a difference."
Alabama was the latest school to throw its hat in the ring, and while the offer is hard to ignore, the Crimson Tide have ground to make up.
"I was pretty excited, you know? It was definitely a really cool offer," Martinez said. "Obviously, I know what Alabama brings to the table, as far as their history and what type of power they are, football-wise. There's obviously a lot more to the decision than me. I thought it was awesome, and it was a cool thing for my friends and people to talk about. People love, in my town, to put it in the paper, do all this cool stuff, but really, it doesn't mean a whole lot to me, until I really get to know their coaching staff, and see where I sit with them, and the academic side, see what they have to offer. There's a lot more to it.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1730384-btc-part-ii-adrian... "It's a cool offer, it was great, but there's a reason why I'm committed. There are a lot of really good things about Cal that I love. With Alabama, I'm going to have to research their coaching staff, I'm going to have to research their academic side a little bit more. It doesn't mean a whole lot of anything until I get to do those things. I know what they bring, football-wise, but that's the reason why I love Cal, is that it has good football, and there's really good academics, in a great area and a great school. That's why I like what Cal has to offer, and why I'm still committed there."
When he comes up to Berkeley on April 8, Martinez hopes to see the new staff up close, and in action, to get a feel for them like he got a feel for the old crew.
"I'm hoping to sit in on a meeting. Then, I'll be taking a picture with Tom Lemming, I think, for a preseason All-American deal. That'll be cool," he said. "I would say it'll be really big. It'd be really big. I know some of the other commits are going to be there, so it'll be cool to get to meet them. Obviously, I want to sit in on an offensive meeting, get a better feel for some of these coaches in-person, too, and see how things are being run. I'll get to talk with coach Wilcox again, and it'll be cool to get my dad up there, and myself. I love being in Berkeley."
That won't preclude him from visiting his other suitors, though. Martinez wants to do his due diligence.
"Really, I want to get a feeling for what the culture is, the environment -- how the players act, see if I fit with them -- the atmosphere with the coaches, the school, kind of get a program set up academically," Martinez said. "I want to see what life would be like on that campus. Also, kind of compare it to Cal, to see how much I like it, see what good things at a given place, compared to Cal, and vice versa."
The visits to Arizona State and Tennessee may be his last visits, but then again, they may not.
"Yeah, you know, it's really how things develop," he said. "I really don't have a timetable to when I will completely cut things off. It'll just depend on how things really develop. If my decision needs to be kind of run out a little bit longer, than I'll see myself taking some official visits, but we'll just have to see when that time comes. Honestly, I'm not sure yet."