Michael Odley thought he had seen Damien Martinez’s latest film. The Louisville (Texas) high school football coach ran with his star running back, who amassed nearly 4,500 yards and 66 touchdowns in his career Odley was an athlete who could be relied upon to lead by example.
We were close to closing and staying in college, said Odley Dale Martinez, who borders the state of Oregon. Except for the following Monday, Martinez had other ideas. Despite wearing a club-shaped cast that came almost to his knees, he told Odley he wanted to play. Odle said, Okay, sure, but Martinez wondered how it would turn out.
It was easy. Martinez just put the ball in his left hand. He ran for four touchdowns in his first game of the playoffs. He rushed for 239 yards and three more touchdowns in the next playoff game.
Just an incredible, courageous performance, Odall said. The Louisville coach shared this story when asked if there are any plays or plays that define what Oregon State is getting in Martinez.
In his six games at OSU, Martinez showed flashes of high school accomplishments. The 6-foot-2, 216-pound junior is part of a three-man rotation and is coming off the best game of his career, running three times for 83 yards and a 28-27 touchdown against Stanford.
Is Martinez on his way to becoming the next great OSU running back? If so, he’ll probably do it in action rather than words. Odley learned this in Martinez’s first season at Louisville.
He was kind of a silent killer, Odley said. He didn’t talk much but he was very competitive. You could see the flame coming out of his eyes. When informed about the silent killer comment, Martinez nodded approvingly.
I like to let my work speak for itself, Martinez said. I mean, I’m not very talkative. It’s one of the reasons Martinez didn’t let the outside noise about his arrival at Oregon State go to his head. Last April, Martinez was at the city’s spring training speech. After graduating from Louisville early, he applied to Oregon State in January and quickly showed what he could do against college defenses. After his impressive performance in the Beavers’ spring game, fans and media immediately signed Martinez as a Pac-12 rookie to watch for the 2022 season.
I didn’t really try to focus on it too much, Martinez said. I just keep my head down and try to be better for myself.
That philosophy has served Martinez well. It wasn’t as easy as it looks in the spring. B.J. Baylorn went for 1,337 yards for the NFL last season, with four running backs taking the preseason field and catching eyes over the preseason. In the early games, Deshaun Fenwick, Jam Griffin and Martinez emerged as a shared running background. A tight package remains in midseason.
I was probably a little average, said Martinez, who ran 41 times for 228 yards. I really wanted to get into the rotation and gain experience.
But the situation should be monitored. Coach Jonathan Smith has talked about the need for an explosion in the running game in recent weeks. Martinez could be the answer after his stellar 43-yard touchdown run against Stanford.
Oregon State begins to pop up on Martinez’s radar as a high schooler. He hadn’t heard much about the school except Jaquiz Rodgers, the Texas running back turned USO star.
Martinez said he was first drawn to Oregon State because running backs coach A.J. Intendent So Martinez was sold after a campus visit the summer before his senior year.
I liked that it was so quiet, he said. They were nothing but business and football, who I am.
Martinez has a younger brother and was raised by his mother Samantha and grandmother Carla. Martinez said he is especially close to his grandmother, whom he calls his sweetest soul.
Besides making his family proud, Martinez said he has no specific personal goals for the second half of the season. The silent killer keeps his head down and does what he needs to.
Whatever my team needs to do, he said. What goes through a receiver’s head when he has the ball in his hands, open ground in front of him and a chance to win an unusual away game in the end zone?
I thought about the touchdown, he said. I have to score, I have to make a play for the team. That’s all I thought about. When I didn’t see anybody in front of me, straight green grass, I thought I was going to take it all off. the way.
A 40-yard field goal by Oregon State kicker Atticus Sappington and then a second touchdown by Bryson Tremaine at Stanford, the Beavers lost by two touchdowns in three quarters.
However, behind the leadership of their new starter, they stayed on track with longtime Corvallis star QB Chance Nolan suffering a neck injury
We kept fighting until the last second, Gulbranson said. Show yourself there. Bring us back to the Fresno State game, where we were fighting until the last second. I think anything is possible with this team.
He connected with promising winger Silas Bolden on the first of three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and shot in eight with just ten seconds left in the final frame. There was strong support from Bolden, who rallied under too much pressure and played the infield before leaving the end zone.