Adrian Martinez didn't need long to decide Tennessee was the place for him after visiting Knoxville and Neyland Stadium.
Three weeks after venturing from the Golden State to the Volunteer State, the Scout No. 21-ranked quarterback in the 2018 class verbally committed to the Volunteers, going public with the news Friday afternoon.
“Honestly, I just felt like it was home, you know,” Martinez told InsideTennessee. “I formed a really good connection with (Tennessee quarterbacks) coach (Mike) Canales and coach (Butch) Jones. They really made me feel like a priority and stuck with me and were consistent throughout the whole process. Once I got to visit and kind of get a feel for things, I just really felt like I could make an impact and that Tennessee really was the best that college football has to offer. Coming down to it, I’m so blessed just to get this opportunity to play at the next level, and I want to maximize that opportunity. I really feel like Tennessee with the fan base, solid academics and opportunity for myself to make an impact — you know, compete for SEC championships and national championships — is the best place for me.”
Martinez picked Tennessee over offers from Alabama, Georgia, Miami (Fla.) and Oregon just to name a few, including programs such as Oklahoma and Texas Tech that offered after he backed off his pledge to California, which had a head coaching change.
A cross-country trip to spend a late April weekend in Knoxville with family was key to Martinez becoming a Volunteer and understanding the value to being the “program CEO” at a place like Tennessee. This week, Martinez informed Jones and the staff that his decision was made to suit up for the Orange & White.
“Oh, they were pretty pumped up,” the Scout four-star quarterback prospect said. “I told coach Canales and coach Jones my plans and things like that and they were super excited. I’m excited, too. I know this recruiting class is pretty good already. I’m looking to add to it and recruit some more. We want to have at least a top 10 class this year and really do some special things. I think we have the capability to do that, and really it’s only recruiting momentum from here.”
The right-hander doesn’t have any trips set up to visit any programs aside from Tennessee.
“Right now I really don’t plan on it,” he said. “I think I’ve pretty much come to the decision that I want to commit to Tennessee and go that route. So I didn’t really see it as necessary. I feel like everything I want and needed is at the University of Tennessee. So I decided with my family that it was best not to make any trips anywhere else.”
As a junior at Clovis West (Calif.) High School, Martinez threw for 2,484 yard with 25 touchdowns. On the ground, he accumulated 1,385 yards and 16 more scores.
Martinez plans to enroll in classes at Tennessee in January. He presently has plans to major in Business or Finance.
“That could all change. I wouldn’t say it’s set in stone completely right now. That’s just kind of where my head is right now, where I think I’m going into but we’ll just have to see. I have some time to decide still,” he said.