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Saturday, March 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  NCAA football

Martinez is Huskers’ starter, man he beat out leaves school

In this Aug. 8, 2018, file photo, Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez (2) runs with the ball during NCAA college football fall practice in Lincoln, Neb. (Nati Harnik / Associated Press)
In this Aug. 8, 2018, file photo, Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez (2) runs with the ball during NCAA college football fall practice in Lincoln, Neb. (Nati Harnik / Associated Press)
By Eric Olson Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. – Two days after clarity came to Nebraska’s quarterback situation, things got complicated again.

True freshman Adrian Martinez will be the starter when the Cornhuskers begin the Scott Frost era against Akron on Saturday night. However, Tristan Gebbia, the man he beat out, didn’t practice Monday morning and the university registrar said in the afternoon he no longer was enrolled.

Frost said at his noon-hour news conference that Gebbia’s status with the team was to be determined. With Gebbia gone, sophomore walk-on Andrew Bunch would be the top backup.

“Our team is always going to preach team before me, take care of the brother to my right and left,” Frost said. “I want players on the team who are actually about that. Whatever kids are on the roster come the first game, those are the brothers I want to roll with.”

Martinez and Gebbia engaged in a close competition through the spring and in the preseason. Gebbia was recruited by former coach Mike Riley and ranked among the top pro-style quarterbacks coming out of high school in 2017. He redshirted his first year in the program.

Martinez said quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco told him before Saturday’s practice he would be the starter.

“I really just spilled my guts for it. Obviously, Tristan did the same,” Martinez said. “I was confident in my ability. I believe if you don’t believe in yourself, I don’t think anyone will. I worked hard. I learned this offense the best I can. Now I’m ready to get after it.”

Martinez will be the first true freshman quarterback to start an opener in program history.

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