Four-star Tennessee quarterback commit Adrian Martinez claims that Butch Jones’ firing hasn’t changed his status with the team.
However, Martinez is still waiting to see who the Vols hire and whether he’ll mesh with the new coaching staff before signing with the program.
“Right now, I'm committed to Tennessee,” Martinez told Gridiron Now in an exclusive interview. “That's where I want to go to school and that's where I want to play football. But my mindset right now is I want to play things out and see how things progress.
“I want to see who the new coach is going to be and if they feel the same way about me as the old staff. That's a big thing for me: I want to make sure that they have confidence in me moving forward. I need to make sure I do the right thing for myself and have backup plans and form relationships with other schools and coaches, just in case things don't go the way I plan them to.”
Martinez ranks as the No. 7 dual-threat quarterback and No. 155 overall prospect for the 2018 national recruiting cycle according to 247Sports. The Fresno, California native has been committed to Tennessee since May, but took an official visit to Ohio State over the past weekend.
“It went really well,” Martinez told 247Sports (subscription needed). “It was really cool to see a good program like that from behind the scenes and see how they do things.”
However, he once again reaffirmed his commitment to Tennessee when speaking with 247Sports following his official visit and news of Jones’ termination on Sunday.
“I'm still committed to Tennessee,” he said. “I'm not one to make any rash decisions. I want to see who the coach is. I have a lot to think about.”
Tennessee has played three quarterbacks this season after dealing with numerous injuries. Junior Quinten Dormady opened the season as the team's starter, but was benched for redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano midway through the season and is inactive after undergoing shoulder surgery recently.
Guarantano suffered an ankle injury during the Vols’ win against Southern Miss and was replaced by true freshman Will McBride, who was on pace to redshirt prior to entering the game and started last week against Missouri.
The quarterback position will be crucial for Tennessee, especially with a new head coach entering the fold. Keeping Martinez in tact will be a major goal for the upcoming recruiting class, especially with the new early signing period taking place at the end of December.