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PORTAL UPDATE: Baylor Lands NAU’s RJ Martinez to Bolster QB Room

Martinez joins the Bears from the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks of FCS.

Northern Arizona v Arizona State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As we were in the midst of discussing Baylor’s need for a third QB going into spring practices on the ODB Discord this morning (join here!), lo and behold one appeared in the form of Northern Arizona QB RJ Martinez, who committed to the Bears a few minutes ago. From Twitter:

Martinez, originally from Austin, announced his intention to transfer in late November when NAU’s season ended. The article from “Jack Central” says he has two years of eligibility remaining plus a redshirt year, which tracks with having been a member of the 2021 recruiting class. Martinez started 11 games for the Lumberjacks in 2022 as a true sophomore and 7 in 2021 in his true freshman year, when he was named Big Sky Freshman of the Year, throwing for nearly 4,600 yards in those two seasons combined.

Martinez is listed at 6-0, 185 pounds on his profile with NAU but was listed slightly shorter by 247Sports as a recruit at 5-11. Regardless that inch, he is slightly undersized (not unlike QBs we’ve had here in the past few years, frankly). I would anticipate that the best possible outcome from Baylor’s perspective would be for Martinez to slot in immediately at the #3 QB spot for 2023, redshirt if at all possible, and retain two additional years of eligibility after that. In any event having an experienced #3 QB on the roster going into the spring is an obvious positive for a QB room that had just one scholarship QB in it just a few weeks ago but now has Sawyer Robertson (transfer from Mississippi State) and Martinez to compete with and push incumbent starter Blake Shapen. It is not immediately clear whether Martinez will walk on or be on scholarship (Martinez doesn’t say in his commitment post), but the belief seems to be that he will walk on, meaning he doesn’t take up one of the remaining scholarship spots, if indeed we still have one. I’ve talked before about how difficult that is to parse at any given time.

I’ll see if I can’t track down a highlight video for Martinez from his NAU days, but in the meantime, here is his senior year film from HUDL. If you are on Twitter, throw him a follow and welcome him to Baylor!