Martinez jumps on second offer from MSU

After picking Nebraska out of high school, JUCO linebacker Drake Martinez was not missing a shot at playing at Michigan State for a second time.

It is not often a recruit gets a second chance to commit to a school, but that is exactly what Drake Martinez got with Michigan State.

After committing to Nebraska in 2013, spending 2014 at Saddleback (Calif.) College, Martinez committed to MSU on Tuesday night.

“I don’t think too many people get second chances like that,” he said. “I am very blessed to have them want me again.”

The Spartans recruited Martinez heavily late in his senior year at Laguna Beach High School, but he already felt locked in with Nebraska and headed to the school where his brother, Taylor, was starring as a quarterback.

But an illness led to a redshirt and the eventual transfer, leading to another offer from Michigan State – and this time he took it.

”I wanted to go there, but they kinda came on late in the recruiting process in high school,” Martinez said. “I was already kinda committed to going to Nebraska, which made it hard to switch it that late in the process.

”(At MSU), I was already familiar with the coaches and things there. I thought it would be the best fit for me and the best spot for me to play.”

He expects to have three years of eligibility remaining and to be eligible to play right away (three to play three), while he likely will play STAR linebacker.

The Spartans sought out the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Martinez recently, as quarterbacks coach Brad Salem came out and visited him before he took an official visit last weekend – on which he had the same host as his visit two years ago.

“I went out there my senior year and Riley Bullough was my host,” Martinez said. “He was my host again, so I kinda knew him already and I was comfortable and everything. …

”When I went out there I had a good time.”

Linebackers coach Mark Snyder had an in-home visit with Martinez on Tuesday, at which point the decision was finalized.

“I pretty much decided yesterday,” he said, “but after I talked to Coach Dantonio when I was on my visit, I kinda thought form there I was going to commit.”

And now, a couple years after his first chance, he is excited to be headed to Michigan State.

”I’m very excited,” he said. “I redshirted at Nebraska and junior college isn’t big-time football, so this will be my first time getting my feet wet in a big-time program again.”

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