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Thursday, January 31, 2013
Familiar name goes big red

By Erik McKinney

Nebraska added commitment No. 23 to its 2013 recruiting class on Wednesday night, a name with which Cornhuskers fans are very familiar.

Last season, Taylor Martinez started his 39th career game for Nebraska, which is a school record for quarterbacks. Next season, his younger brother will look to start his first.

Late Wednesday night, Drake Martinez (Laguna Beach, Calif./Laguna Beach) made a verbal commitment to head coach Bo Pelini. Martinez held offers from a variety of other programs, including Michigan State and Vanderbilt, but the pull to Lincoln was strong, and many believed he would wind up following his brother.

"I think that had something to do with it," said Michael Churchill, former head coach and now athletic director at Laguna Beach. "But he had a familiarity with the program after visiting a couple of times to watch his brother play."

Churchill said he believes there were a few factors that tipped the scales toward Nebraska.

"He's real satisfied with the decision and the size of the community with Lincoln," Churchill said. "He's a small-town boy and he really enjoys that. Nebraska is getting themselves a good player."

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound athlete spent time in all three phases of the game as a senior. He rushed 171 times for 1,613 yards and 23 touchdowns, caught six passes for 122 yards and six touchdowns, intercepted four passes that he returned for touchdowns, returned two punts -- one for a score -- and returned five kickoffs -- one for a score.

"When he asked them what he was going to play, they said they are going to get him on the field as quickly as they can and go from there," Churchill said. "He can play offense, defense and help in the return game."