Adrian Martinez verbally commits to Cal-Berkeley

Clovis West junior quarterback Adrian Martinez committed to play Division 1 college football at Cal-Berkeley on Nov. 21 after the Bears’ game against Stanford. [Photo by Nick Baker]

By Paul Meadors | Sports Editor

Adrian Martinez first started paying attention to Cal football while attending Kastner Intermediate, about the time he started to become a “football junkie.” From there the affection progressed on to Clovis West where he said, “I could really see myself going there.”

Well, the dream of playing for the Pac-12 school is now a reality as the standout quarterback verbally committed to the Bears, telling the coaching staff on Nov. 19 after the Cal-Stanford game. He made his announcement on Twitter the next day.

Martinez, only a junior, had plenty of big-time Division I offers – ten in all: Utah, Washington State, Colorado, Colorado State, Cal, Miami, Vanderbilt, Missouri, Nevada and Fresno State.

But it was a combination of the Bears’ authenticity in their program, their tradition at the quarterback position and the priority they placed on Martinez that won him over.

“I was their only target for this class,” Martinez said. “They opened up a big board showing their recruits and I was their only name under ‘quarterback.’ That spoke volumes to me and they treated me special.

“The people there are genuine and I really like the vibe there – I felt like I really fit in.”

And Martinez will fit in quite nicely in the program that likes to score points. Cal, currently under head coach Sonny Dykes, runs a shotgun offense similar to what Clovis West runs with the potent air attack averaging 360 yards per game with 37 passing touchdowns on the season. The Bears average 37 points per game and are 5-7.

Another factor was following in the footstep of some great Cal quarterbacks, namely Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers (Martinez said it would be “a dream” if he got a call from Rogers) and last year’s No. 1 overall NFL draft choice Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams.

It’s been a stellar season for Martinez despite the Golden Eagles’ season coming to a close in the semifinals of the Division I playoffs – a 34-28 overtime loss to Central in which the dual-threat quarterback accounted for four touchdowns and 404 yards of offense. His season totals in 12 games were 2,585 passing yards with 25 touchdowns and 1,430 rushing yards and 14 scores.

A verbal commitment is not official, and since Martinez is only a junior he will have to wait until next year to sign his official National Letter of Intent. The 6-foot-3, 195 pounder is firm in his stance in playing at Cal saying, “I’ll stay true to my word.”

Even though he’s a year and a half away from suiting up in the Berkeley blue and California gold, Martinez feels extremely blessed to have this opportunity – a university with fine academic standing and a chance to dazzle and amaze on the big stage in college football.

“When it started to come true it unraveled in a way that only God could make it happen,” Martinez said. “I’ve been thankful for it and I know that my decision was right.”