When the Nebraska Cornhuskers take on the UCLA Bruins, it will be a homecoming of sorts for quarterback Taylor Martinez and several of his teammates. Martinez, as well as fellow starters Cameron Meredith (defensive end), Quincy Enunwa (wide receiver) and Daimion Stafford (safety), are all natives of California.
Martinez grew up a big Bruins fan and was disappointed when he failed to receive a scholarship from UCLA. Close friend and high school teammate Ricky Marvray did receive a scholarship from the school and is now a receiver for the Bruins. A look ahead at the schedule revealed Nebraska and UCLA would meet on Sept. 8 and the two friends have been looking forward to the matchup since high school.
Nebraska has always had a reputation of recruiting on a national level, and ever since Coach Bo Pelini has taken the reins, he has focused much of his efforts in the state of California. His first recruiting class in 2009 included six players from the state.
Not only does Martinez want to make a statement to his hometown school that didn’t offer him a scholarship, but he has a real chance to move up the Heisman ladder as well. Last week he had his best passing game as a Cornhusker, going 26-of-34 for 354 yards with five touchdowns.
Running back Rex Burkhead is listed as questionable for tonight’s game, and if he isn’t able to go, it may force Nebraska to air it out a lot more. While that may put more pressure on the shoulders of Martinez, it could also mean some big numbers in the passing game. A strong performance in the Rose Bowl in a nationally televised contest could leave a big impression in the Heisman race.