FRESNO, CA. — Adrian Martinez decommitted from California a little more than two weeks ago, just two days after he returned home from his first visit to Tennessee.
It didn’t take him long to find a new home.
The Top247 junior quarterback from Clovis West High School in Fresno, Calif., announced Friday afternoon that he has committed to Tennessee, choosing the Vols over Oklahoma and offers from more than 20 other schools.
The 6-foot-2, 198-pound Martinez gave Tennessee its 10th known commitment for the 2018 class and its second from a quarterback, joining three-star quarterback Michael Penix of Tampa, Fla.
“Ultimately, it kind of came down to relationships and where I felt I was going to be able to make the most impact and kind of connect with the coaches and the people there, and where my dad and I and my family felt the most comfortable going and playing football, getting the best that college football has to offer. And I really feel Tennessee has that,” said Martinez, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 170 overall prospect and No. 7 dual-threat quarterback in the 247Sports Composite for the 2018 class.
“With the academics and the athletic opportunities, I just thought it was the right place for me.”
Martinez said Oklahoma, which extended an offer to him just 10 days ago, “was the biggest threat” to the Vols after he officially reopened his recruitment on April 25.
But he said he decided by last week that Tennessee “can offer me everything that I could ever want” and that “the opportunity to play quarterback in the SEC for the University of Tennessee is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one I can’t pass up.”
“Being given the opportunity to kind of lead a team to a national championship, being able to compete for SEC championships, national championships is ultimately what I want to do,” Martinez said. “And I feel like Tennessee gives me the greatest option to really do that while being able to set myself up for success if football doesn’t work out. I feel like a place like Tennessee can really enable me to do that and make the right connections in that way.
“Every game’s televised. My parents can still watch me. It’s a great atmosphere and, really, the fans, I feel like, are unlike anything else, and that’s always something I’ve wanted to be a part of. I wanted to be a part of the best college football has to offer, and I really feel like the combination of what Tennessee has is able to offer me that.”
He admitted he had to get past “some hurdles, as far as the distance and possibly changes that could happen,” but he’s already looking forward to being “kind of the face” of the Vols’ 2018 recruiting class.
“When I sat down with my dad and really, also, with my high school coach, we put a little list of pros and cons together and (could) just see that the pros for Tennessee are pretty much limitless for me,” said Martinez, who also holds offers from Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss, Oregon, Miami, Arizona State, Fresno State, Utah and West Virginia, among others.
“Sometimes, when going for high reward, you kind of have high risk, as well, that’s involved. I feel like Tennessee can offer me everything that I could ever want. As long as I work hard and do the right things and go about it the right way, I think I can achieve it.
“Really, it’s kind of more of a no-brainer.”
Martinez said he informed Tennessee coach Butch Jones and quarterbacks coach Mike Canales of his decision on Saturday.
“They were very excited and looking forward to having me be a part of the recruiting class and kind of the face and really lead and be able to recruit moving forward and kind of do some special things,” Martinez said.
He said he’s keeping a close eye on Tennessee’s ongoing quarterback battle between junior Quinten Dormady and redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano, and he admitted Guarantano winning the job “would definitely not be ideal” for him. But Martinez said he’s comfortable with his decision regardless of how the competition turns out.
“We’ll see how things play out,” he said, “but I’m fairly confident in my chances and my abilities to make an impact once I get there.”
As a junior, Martinez threw for 2,562 yards, 25 touchdowns and four interceptions while also rushing for 1,462 yards and 14 touchdowns. He said he’s “definitely intrigued” by Tennessee’s offense, and he believes “it’s very flexible” and can adapt “to the way I play the game.”
“They like to use kind of NFL complexity, putting a lot of things on the quarterback, which is kind of what I want,” he said. “They’re going to go under center. They’re going to go in shotgun. They’re going to do a little bit of everything and give me a nice tool belt and a nice array of skills in that way. … I can run the ball a little bit. I can throw really well.”
Martinez, who already is hoping to return to Tennessee the weekend of June 17 for its “Orange Carpet Day,” said he’s now focused on working to graduate early and enrolling at Tennessee in January.
He doesn’t expect to visit any other schools in the coming months.
“I really plan on shutting things down,” Martinez said. “The recruiting process has been great to me, obviously, and has given me many opportunities. But I feel like I really want to focus on my future team and building that class, contributing to that class and just wanting to improve on my game and not have to worry about coaches or this and that.