Mario Verduzco likens his relationships with quarterbacks at Nebraska to the connection between a parent and child. Because of the nature of the position and its limited numbers, Verduzco gets close, first in recruiting and later in his teaching and mentoring.
The bond for Verduzco with Adrian Martinez rated as special from the day it was struck under unique conditions. Verduzco and coach Scott Frost targeted Martinez as their cornerstone prospect in the hours after Frost accepted the job at Nebraska on Dec. 2, 2017.
No time existed to build trust in the typical method of countless phone calls and visits. In less than three weeks, Martinez signed with the Huskers. Two weeks after that, he enrolled in school.
And 39 months later, they’ve experienced a handful of thrilling wins, painful setbacks, injuries, uncertainty, competition and a series of events in the past year once thought unfathomable. Martinez overcame his 2020 benching and has started 27 games for Frost, including all but one of the coach’s 12 wins at Nebraska.
“He and I have a tremendous relationship,” said Verduzco, the fourth-year quarterbacks coach. “Those lines of communication were wide-ass open, excuse my French, when we recruited him, when he came here. And they’re still that way.”
Their openness and history, as player and position coach, no doubt allowed Martinez to push past obstacles and remain in place to solidify his role this spring as Nebraska’s top leader.