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Former Kansas State QB Adrian Martinez finds success as MVP of pro football league

Adrian Martinez is once again making big plays on the football field.

Not at Nebraska. Not at Kansas State. Not in the NFL. He is currently the starting quarterback for the Birmingham Stallions of the United Football League, and it turns out that job suits him quite nicely.

Martinez has turned into a star this spring. So much so that he has been named MVP of the UFL. He won the award after he guided the Stallions to the UFL championship game — which will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday in St. Louis — with his dual-threat quarterback skills.

Much like in his college days, Martinez has put together an impressive highlight reel by using his strong arm and his quick feet. He led the league in rushing with 528 yards and three touchdowns. He also ranked third in passing with 1,749 yards and 15 touchdowns.

When he was at his best, he was able to set UFL records. Martinez holds the single-game mark for touchdown passes with four. That happened in early May during a game against Memphis.

He topped 300 yards as a passer in two games this spring and also rushed for 138 yards in a game against Houston.

Martinez was only at K-State for a brief time, but he helped the Wildcats win a Big 12 championship in 2022. He arrived in Manhattan as a graduate transfer and played in 10 games for Chris Klieman. He finished his lone season at K-State with 1,261 yards and six touchdowns as a passer to go along with 638 yards and 10 touchdowns as a runner.

His most memorable game came on the road against Oklahoma, when he guided the Wildcats to a thrilling victory by running for 148 yards and four touchdowns.

Injuries cut his season short and he only played 10 games before Will Howard took over as the team’s starting quarterback on the way to the Sugar Bowl.

Before that, he spent four productive seasons with the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Martinez did not get selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, but he signed a free agent deal with the Detroit Lions and spent much of the preseason with them before failing to make the final roster. He later resurfaced in the UFL, and he went on to have a great season.

Perhaps a strong campaign and a MVP award with the Stallions will earn him another look with a NFL team.