MANHATTAN, KS. (KSNT)- Adrian Martinez and Collin Klein make up a duo that has Wildcat fans fired up for football in 2022.
Klein was a 2012 Hiesman Trophy finalist for the Wildcats, who has since become the offensive coordinator. He knows a thing or two about playing Quarterback for K-State. As Klein begins year one as offensive coordinator, Adrian Martinez begins year one under center in purple. However, Martinez brings plenty of college football experience, having played four seasons at Nebraska.
“It helps a ton,” Klein said. “It’s been really good both ways… being able to have him have a different perspective on some things, similar on others. He’s worked his butt off. He’s a student of the game, so he’s got a great foundation football IQ to him. He’s great to work with.”
Martinez found success in many areas at Nebraska. A three-year captain for the Corn Huskers, Martinez holds the school records in career total yards of offense and career total yards of offense per game, among others.
One area he struggled in at times was protecting the football. Martinez threw 30 interceptions during his time at Nebraska. Klein is making it a point to make sure the new Wildcat QB doesn’t lose his aggresiveness.
“He can make every throw on the field. He’s an electric athlete,” Klein said. “My biggest message to him on that is you cannot play quarterback scared to make a mistake. You cannot say ‘I can’t turn this ball over’ or ‘I can’t fumble.’ You can’t think like that. You can think of how do I manage the football game, how do I make smart decisions, you can’t think ‘Hey I got to go win the game on this play.'”
Martinez says knowing his limits and trusting his teammates is key.
“It’s all about playing within myself,” Martinez said. “Some of those plays will happen naturally, other times you need to let the offense work. And that’s where Coach Klein is going to have to trust me and I’m going to have to trust him type of thing.”
The other offensive weapons around him can take a weight off his shoulders.
“Let the machine work,” Martinez said. “We have all those guys, I don’t need to make every play. Having that mindset and still maintaining that aggressive type nature.”
Klein, Martinez and the rest of K-State’s 2022 squad kickoff their regular season on Saturday, Sept. 3 at home against South Dakota.