Miami lands star running back transfer Damien Martinez Jr.

Junior running back Damien Martinez Jr. on his visit to Miami during the weekend of April 26–27. Photo credit: @damienfor6 on Twitter

Miami football added an explosive piece to its offense on Saturday night in Oregon State star running back transfer Damien Martinez Jr.

Martinez was a highly coveted player in the spring transfer portal following two great years at

Oregon State. Through two seasons, Martinez totaled nearly 2,167 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on 6.1 yards per carry and earned All-Conference nods both years.

Last year, Martinez had six 100-yard games and only two games under 80 yards. Even better for Miami, he still has a lot of mileage left in him. Though he was the leading back for Oregon State, he has yet to top the 200-carry mark due to sharing significant amounts of touches with his teammates in the running back room. Last year, he had more than 20 carries twice, and he has only done so five times in his career.

Martinez will bring a blend of size, strength and speed to Miami. The 6-foot-0, 232-pound running back also has great vision and patience and knows how to wait for his blocks to set up so he can hit the hole and hit the cutback lane if nothing is there. Then, in the open field, he can drag defenders along for every extra yard possible or make them miss. Last year, he ranked in the top 12 nationally both in yards after contact and missed tackles forced.

As a receiver, he’s yet to be fully utilized, and he has only caught 15 receptions for 187 yards between his two seasons. The Hurricanes really don’t utilize that position too much either, as there were only 23 receptions between their top four backs last year.

As for how Martinez fits into the Miami roster, he will replace some of the talent Miami has recently lost at the position. With the departures of Henry Parrish Jr., Donald Chaney Jr. and TreVonte’ Citizen this offseason, Martinez can make an immediate impact on the team. He will likely be thrust into a featured role, along with returnee Mark Fletcher Jr.

If Martinez can get the ground game thriving, it will make transfer quarterback Cam Ward’s life a lot easier. Washington State last year was one of the worst running teams in college football and ranked near the bottom nationally in total rushing and yards per carry.

The ‘Canes are still expected to be active in the portal as they try and build up the offensive weapons and supplement a defense that has lost some pieces this spring by way of the portal.