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April 8, 2011

Martinez growing into role of starting quarterback

By the end of the 2010 season it was hard to know what rumors were true and what rumors were false about Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez.

The California native went through his ups and downs as a redshirt freshman and since he rarely talked to the media it allowed several rumors to spread about him.

As NU wraps up its third week of spring practice, you get a completely different feel from Martinez. On Friday Martinez casually talked with reporters for nearly 10 minutes after practice. He talked confidently about his role and where things are at with the new offense.

"Everything is going really good with me and the offense and the other quarterbacks," Martinez said. "The offense is looking better every single day.

"(The toughest thing) has been just learning the offense and what pace we are running at and what type of offense we are going to do and what type of motions we are going to run."

However, Martinez did say on Friday that his ankle injury from last year has bothered him some, but overall it's not a major issue.

"It's doing better," Martinez said of his ankle. "It's getting there.

"It's 100 percent, but sometimes on different cuts I can feel it."

Some other things Martinez addressed about Tim Beck's new offense is it's a "50-50 mix" and it also features a lot of "no-huddle."

Martinez also likes what some of the new faces at wide receiver have brought to the table with their different skill sets.

"Kenny Bell, Jamal Turner and Stanley Jean-Baptiste are all doing really well," Martinez said. "They're going to be great during the season."

Sophomore offensive lineman Brent Qvale had nothing but praise to throw out when talking about Martinez on Friday.

Qvale said Martinez has really done is best to take more ownership and become a better leader this spring.

"Taylor is definitely stepping up and filling the starting quarterback role," Qvale said. "He's been doing great and everybody has been working their butts off this spring. It's been a pretty competitive and physical spring."

Qvale added that in his eyes a lot of negative criticism and rumors regarding Martinez a year ago where unfair and not accurate.

"It's hard to avoid the (negative criticism the offense got last year), but our team tries to avoid all the media stuff that goes on," Qvale said. "It's hard to avoid it, but we try our best.

"(Martinez) is definitely a cool guy, but on the field he's stepping it up and trying to be a leader trying to get us up on the line to run our plays and get going.



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