First things first… This is Memorial Day and we can't do anything without saying a massive Thank You to all those who have given their lives and have sacrificed for our freedoms. To all those currently serving and all those who have we say Thank You as well. This is your day and enjoy it to the fullest.
Now on to the countdown, you know the super serious business of the day. After all, we are inside the Top 10 and that has generated a lot of debate on where guys have ranked. Well, that's sure to be the case again today with our choice for No. 6.
Along with a certain QB from Columbus they form the most polarizing and yet entertaining players to watch in the league. Questions remain about them both, but more so for Martinez who's show great ability at times and mind numbingly bad decision making at others. So, let's explore why we rank Martinez so high on our list.
No. 6 Taylor Martinez (QB, Nebraska):
2012 Stats/Honors: 2,871yards, 62% comp. rate, 23TD's/12INT's passing; 1,019 yards, 10TD's rushing; 1st team All-Big Ten (coaches), 2nd team All-Big Ten (media), Silver Football finalist (1 of 3)
What makes him worthy: 2012 was a massive breakthrough for Martinez, especially in the passing game where he improved not only his technique, but his results on the field as well. Passing for over 60% isn't too shabby, especially considering he hadn't done it ever in his career before. That improvement is what really helped the Huskers make it to their 1st ever Big Ten championship game.
Martinez was also equally effective with his legs once again, being one of just two Huskers to rush for over 1,000 yards last year. In fact, I dare say his numbers hold up against any QB Nebraska has ever produced. If you don't believe me try this laundry list of records Martinez holds (and he's just entering his senior season):
» Nebraska Career Total Offense Record Holder (9,449 yards)
» Nebraska Career Passing Yards Record Holder (6,591 yards)
» Nebraska Career Completions Record Holder (506)
» Nebraska Career Touchdown Passes Record Holder (46)
» Nebraska Career Starts by a Quarterback Record Holder (39)
» Nebraska Season Total Offense Record Holder (3,890 yards)
» Nebraska Season Total Touchdowns Record Holder (33)
» Nebraska Game Completion Percentage Record Holder (91.9 vs. Arkansas State)
All of those should have him higher on the list, but the one thing that is stopping him is his inability to throw the long ball. When he does it's often ugly and often not a good choice. Decision making and his overall throwing motion are what's keeping him from reaching the Top 5 on our list. However, don't be shocked if the Huskers make it back to Indy to see his name at or near the very top of our post-season list.
The Top 25 List:
No. 24: Ryan Groy (OL, Wisconsin)
No. 23: Isaiah Lewis (S, Michigan State)
No. 22: Carlos Hyde (RB, Ohio State)
No. 21: Denicos Allen (LB, Michigan State)
No. 20: Jacob Pedersen (TE, Wisconsin)
No. 19: Zac Epping (C, Minnesota)
No. 18: Jordan Hall (RB, Ohio State)
No. 17: Cody Latimer (WR, Indiana)
No. 16: Kenny Bell (WR, Nebraska)
No. 15: James White (RB, Wisconsin)
No. 14: Kain Colter (QB, Northwestern)
No. 13: Jared Abbrederis (WR, Wisconsin)
No. 12: Venric Mark (RB, Northwestern)
No. 11: Ra'Shede Hageman (DT, Minnesota)
No. 10: Bradley Roby (CB, Ohio State)
No. 9: Chris Borland (LB, Wisconsin)
No. 8: Ameer Abdullah (RB, Nebraska)
No. 7: Ryan Shazier (LB, Ohio State)