Adrian Martinez admits he doesn't love hearing rumors that Butch Jones is on the hot seat, but the 2018 Vols' recruit is remaining optimistic.
Martinez is a four-star prospect from Clovis West High School in Fresno, Calif., who committed to Tennessee in May. The 6-foot-2, 198-pounder is the seventh-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the 2018 class, No. 155 overall player in the country (247Sports) and a huge piece of a class that ranks 11th in the country and third in the SEC.
"I love the tradition of the school, the passionate fan base and the high expectations and competition each week," he told HERO Sports. "I believe there is nothing like SEC football."
The Under Armour All-American picked the Vols from a pile of offers that included Alabama, Georgia and Ole Miss, and has visited Knoxville three times since April, including an official visit — his lone official visit thus far — for Tennessee's 41-0 loss to Georgia. Despite a four-game losing streak that started with the Sept. 30 shellacking by the Bulldogs and rumors surrounding Jones' job security, Martinez remains firmly committed to the Vols.
"Obviously it’s not a good thing to hear rumors about coach Butch Jones." he said, "However, I have faith in him and the coaching staff. I believe they’ll finish this year strong and remain as the coaches there."
Three recruits have decommitted from Tennessee in the last month — including four-star safety Brendon Harris and four-star running back Lyn-J Dixon — but Jones is hanging onto what would be the program's highest-ranked class since 2015.
"I really attribute that to the good group of guys we have in this class," Martinez said when asked why he believes most players haven't wavered on their commitment. "We want to be apart of something special and bring UT back to a national championship level."
Does he anticipate flipping his commitment? Nope.
"I want to play there."