Canes land ex-Oregon State running back Martinez. And undrafted Canes snag NFL deals

Eager to land a top veteran running back after injuries and departures at the position, the Miami Hurricanes snagged a very good one on Saturday night when Damien Martinez committed to UM.

Martinez’s NIL agent, Shawn O’Gorman, confirmed that Martinez will enroll at UM.

He ran for 1085 yards last season on 6.2 yards per carry.

Among running backs with at least 100 carries last season, Martinez was 25th in the country in per-carry average at 6.1. He was fifth among all FBS backs in per-carry average among running backs who ran the ball at least 190 times. (Martinez ran 194 times.)

He also had 11 receptions for 126 yards.

In addition to his campus visit the past three days, Martinez also hosted UM running backs coach Matt Merritt twice at his home over the past 10 days. Coach Mario Cristobal called Martinez’s mother to make a case for UM. Several defensive coaches also called Martinez’s home, lobbying for him to join the Hurricanes.

Martinez will join Mark Fletcher, who’s coming off a foot injury, Ajay Allen, Chris Johnson and freshmen Chris Wheatley Humphrey and Jordan Lyle in UM’s backfield.

UM lost three running backs to the transfer portal: TreVonte Citizen (who never regained his form after an August 2022 knee injury), Henry Parrish (to Mississippi) and Don Chaney Jr. (to Louisville).

O’Gorman said UM will “give him the opportunity to be the best running back in the 2025 draft. They have all the pieces for him to be great.”

Martinez also visited Arizona and Mississippi State before committing to UM after his Coral Gables campus visit this weekend.


Four undrafted Miami Hurricanes committed to teams after the draft: guard Javion Cohen with Cleveland, defensive tackle Leonard Taylor with the Jets, defensive tackle Branson Deen with Buffalo, receiver Tyler Harrell with the Jets and linebacker KJ Cloyd with Minnesota.