Upon returning to campus Monday, Nebraska’s football players had an optional week of weight lifting with strength and conditioning coach Zach Duval.
But NU players, quarterback Adrian Martinez said Friday, were ready to get to work right away.
“We know what we want to accomplish, and that’s going to take some hard work and dedication throughout the semester, throughout the fall, throughout the season,” Martinez said on the “Sports Nightly” radio program. “It starts now.”
Martinez, a freshman All-American according to the Football Writers Association of America, said the 2018 season featured “a lot of lessons learned the tough way, games we should have won.” The Huskers will use those losses as “fuel” for 2019. Martinez is “excited” to lead the way, even though he’s a 19-year-old true sophomore.
“I think the guys on the team respect my mentality,” Martinez said. “I’m really trying to establish myself as that leader, as someone they can look to on and off the field.”
Over the next two months, Martinez said, teammates have to “give their all in the weight room” and get incoming freshman “on the same standard” as the rest of the team.
Playing in some of the Big Ten’s historic stadiums — such as Michigan and Ohio Stadium — was a “dream come true.” The only thing better, Martinez said, would have been winning some of those games. And while the FWAA recognition was an “honor” for Martinez and his family, Martinez wants to see more success for the team going forward.