Ex-Oregon St. RB Damien Martinez transfers to Miami

Ex-Oregon St. RB Damien Martinez transfers to Miami

The Miami Hurricanes have landed one of the country’s premier running backs.

Damien Martinez, the former star at Oregon State, announced that he was entering the transfer portal on April 10. Seventeen days later, he committed to Mario Cristobal’s staff.

Martinez also took official visits to Mississippi St., Texas A&M and Arizona. ESPN had him ranked as the #2 player in portal behind only OT Kadyn Proctor, who is expected to return to Alabama.

As a true freshman for the Beavers in 2022, Martinez helped them to a 10-3 straight-up record and an 11-2 against-the-spread mark. He had at least 103 rushing yards in each of their last six regular-season games.

Martinez produced 982 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. For those efforts, he garnered Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year honors and was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection.

In 2023, Martinez ran for 1,185 yards and nine TDs, averaging 6.1 YPC again. He added 11 catches for 126 yards.

Martinez has coughed up just two fumbles on 355 career carries. The 20-year-old RB earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors again as a sophomore.

Oregon St. started the 2023 campaign with an 8-2 SU record and a 6-4 ATS mark, but it lost three consecutive contests both SU and ATS to end the year. Since the season concluded and the Pac-12 dissolved, the Beavers were left without a league.

They also saw head coach Jonathan Smith bolt to East Lansing to replace Mel Tucker at Michigan St.

Martinez was briefly suspended at OSU after the regular season ended last year. On Nov. 29, he was pulled over after allegedly running a red light. He was accused of DUII (Driving Under Influence of Intoxicants), reckless driving and possession of marijuana as a minor.

However, Martinez was reinstated when the District Attorney decided not to file charges. He announced that he’d be returning the Beavers for 2024 several weeks later.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported that Martinez was set to earn more than $400,000 at Oregon St. in NIL deals.

Nevertheless, with 23 other OSU players entering the portal since the end of the regular season, Martinez obviously had a change of heart earlier this month with his decision to leave Corvallis.

Miami lost four of its last five games in 2023 to finish 7-6 SU and 6-7 ATS. In Mario Cristobal’s first season as head coach at his alma mater, the ‘Canes struggled to a 5-7 SU record and a 2-10 ATS ledger.

According to the 247Sports Composite, Miami has the nation’s #6 recruiting class in 2024, with Martinez becoming the 10th transfer that’s incoming. UM has the country’s #18 transfer-specific class.

Martinez is the fourth four-star transfer in the class and the third that spent last year in the Pac-12. QB Cam Ward (Washington St.) and safety Mishael Powell (Washington) are the two others.

FanDuel has the ‘Canes with 60/1 odds to win the finals of the College Football Playoff. They have the third-shortest odds (+450) to win the 2024 ACC Championship Game.

Miami’s season win total is 9.5 (‘under’ -158, ‘over’ +128) at FanDuel. The betting shop has Ward with 22/1 odds to win the Heisman Trophy.