Immediately after Butch Jones was dismissed as Tennessee’s head coach Sunday, commitments quickly began dropping their pledges from the school in the wake of the news. One prospect that has decided to stick with the Vols is four-star California signal caller Adrian Martinez.
The school’s top-ranked offensive pledge spoke with Josh Ward of WNML Sports Radio in Knoxville Sunday night to discuss his status with the school following the departure of Jones.
No surprise, Martinez did not see this move coming when he originally committed to play for Tennessee over the summer.
“We didn’t want this to happen, but all we can do is look forward,” Martinez said on the air.
Ward’s followup regarded the QB’s status with Tennessee following the news.
“Right now, I’m still committed. I committed to Tennessee for more than just the coaching staff, obviously, but a part of that equation is the coaching staff,” Martinez answered. “Right now, I want to wait and see how this thing plays out, I want to get to know the new coaches, whenever that happens — see where they stand with me, see if I can fit with them, feel if I can be coached by them. For the time being, I’m committed to Tennessee. I’m optimistic about how things play out from here.”
With Jones now out at Tennessee, the school’s AD John Currie has personally reached out to Martinez and his family to provide them with information into the school’s process and where things stand in the coaching search. According to Martinez, the school is working quickly to hire a new coach and expects a decision to be made soon.
“I can tell from what he told my father and I, he’s working really really hard,” Martinez continued. “He said it’s going to take awhile, it won’t be hours until a decision will be made, but it will be days. There’s a lot of work that has to go into this decision. It’s going to be a leader and someone that’s going to get this program back where it needs to be. He really reassured us that he’s going to get it done soon.”
Without providing any specific details on candidates, Currie’s message to the quarterback appears to have resonated.
“It gave me confidence that something is going to happen soon,” he said. “For me, going through this process, I plan on signing December 20th, and I know a lot of other players do as well — as far as being an early enrollee or early signing day period, the thought is this has to happen fast for a lot of us.”
The big question on Martinez’s mind, as is likely the question all Tennessee commits or recruits are asking, will a new coach be in place in time for the early signing day? According to Currie, there’s no doubt the answer is yes.
“I asked (John Currie) if I can expect to see this new coach, get to talk to him and get a feel before I go in and sign with this school and he said most certainly,” Martinez said. “He actually said, ‘If there’s not a new head football coach by December 20th then there will be a new AD in town.’ So I’m confident the job will get done and done as quickly as it can.”
While Tennessee fans are likely eagerly awaiting a decision, it appears Currie is focusing in on a candidate and will name him shortly. The sooner that process is complete, the sooner Tennessee can start the process of climbing up the SEC ladder.