No. 2, Adrian Martinez, 6-2, 220, jr.; No. 7, Luke McCaffrey, 6-2, 200, rfr.; No. 8, Logan Smothers, 6-2, 190, fr.; No. 18, Matt Masker, 6-1, 220, so.; No. 14, Brayden Miller, 6-1, 210, rfr.
The quarterback room didn’t play as well as expected in 2019. Martinez took a step back in terms of efficiency and accuracy, and both he and McCaffrey dealt with injuries over the course of the season. There is always more to the puzzle than just the quarterbacks themselves, but it was not the fall that many expected under center.
The new cast
The only new addition to the mix is Smothers, a dynamic runner and promising prospect out of Alabama who verbally pledged to Nebraska all the way back in the summer of 2018 and held firm to his commitment through significant interest from some national power players.
Nebraska has two quarterbacks it feels good about in Martinez and McCaffrey. Could both get worked into game plans on a weekly basis? Head coach Scott Frost isn't a big believer in playing multiple quarterbacks, but McCaffrey might force his hand if the electric athlete continues improving at a rapid pace.
Martinez is the front-runner to win the starting job and has 21 games of starting experience under his belt. He’s a year removed from preseason Heisman Trophy and now conversation about him usually features more questions than answers. However, he’s still a very talented player and a fast start to the season could lead to his stock — both in the Big Ten and nationally — taking off quickly again.
The keys for the Fresno, California native: Accuracy and decisiveness. If he delivers on those two, the rest of his game — including his ability as a runner — will fall into place.