Lincoln — Nebraska sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez in on the initial Maxwell Award Watch List released Monday afternoon. Martinez returns to pilot the Husker attack after a record-breaking freshman year in 2018. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder set 11 school records after becoming the first true freshman quarterback to start an opener in school history. On the season, Martinez completed 224-of-347 passes for 2,617 yards and 17 touchdowns, while also rushing for 629 yards and eight scores en route to All-Big Ten and Freshman All-America honors.
Martinez ranked 12th nationally and led all freshmen nationally in total offense per game (295.1 ypg) while also setting school marks for 300-yard total offense (seven) and 400-yard total offense (three) games in 2018. Martinez set freshman records for completions, completion percentage, passing yards, passing touchdowns, total offense and total touchdowns (25), and he was fourth nationally among all freshmen in passing yards per game at 237.9 yards per game. Martinez threw for a season-high 384 yards and two touchdowns against Wisconsin, while his best game of the year came against Minnesota, when he completed a school-record 86.2 percent of his passes (25-of-29) for 276 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for a season-high 125 yards and a score on 15 carries.
Martinez is one of 11 Big Ten players on the Maxwell Award Watch List. He will look to become Nebraska’s second Maxwell Award winner, joining 1983 winner Mike Rozier. Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced October 29, 2019, while the three finalists for each award will be unveiled November 25, 2019. The winners of the 2019 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 12, 2019