Are Ole Miss Football in Play For Oregon State Transfer Running Back Damien Martinez?

Nov 11, 2023; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; Oregon State Beavers running back Damien Martinez (6)
Nov 11, 2023; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; Oregon State Beavers running back Damien Martinez (6) / Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

This week's big transfer portal news was that star Oregon State running back Damien Martinez was entering his name into the portal. Is Ole Miss Football a legitimate landing spot for Martinez?

A few days before the spring transfer portal opens, Ole Miss looks to have few roster concerns. However, head coach Lane Kiffin is likely considering strengthening the running back position.

The Rebels currently have Ulysses Bentley IV and Kedrick Reescano as running backs, and they added LSU transfer Logan Diggs on January 10. However, Diggs is currently rehabbing after knee surgery, and with Kiffin confirming there's no set date for his return, the team's running back situation remains uncertain.

Ole Miss has been heavily linked with bringing back Henry Parrsh Jr. who enetered the transfer portal after two season with Miami. Parrish played under Kiffin with the Rebels for two seasons from 2020-2021. However, with a quality running back such as Martinez now in the portal, could Ole Miss look to bring him to Oxford?

Will Ole Miss Shift Their Focus Towards Damien Martinez?

When previous Ole Miss running back Quinton Judkins entered the transfer portal, there were questions about how the RB room would take shape for the 2024 season. The Rebels could go with a running back by committee room with the arrival of Diggs.

With Martinez now available in the transfer portal, could Kiffin shift his focus towards bringing him to Oxford?

Martinez was a bellcow running back in his two seasons at Oregon State, rushing for over 2,000 yards and adding 16 touchdowns. This is something Judkins did well in his two seasons with the Rebels.

With Kiffin and John Garrison adding legitimate size to the offensive line, the run game could be a driving force in 2024. If Martinez were to run behind the Ole Miss offensive line, it may be a deciding factor in getting the Rebels to an SEC Championship game.

Lane Kiffin is likely interested in Martinez. NIL money will play some part in whether Ole Miss can make the move, and Kiffin will also consider whether the move suits the team.