Nov 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Duke Johnson (22) runs back a kick off against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

RB Duke Johnson retires from NFL after 8 seasons

Running back Duke Johnson, who played for the Cleveland Browns and three other teams across eight NFL seasons, announced his retirement on Sunday.

The pass-catching specialist was not on a team in 2023, last appearing in one game for the Buffalo Bills during the 2022 season.

“8 Years 4 teams with 1 goal in mind, create a better life for my family,” Johnson wrote in an Instagram post. “I never dreamed of being the all time leading rusher of my dream school or being somewhere on the list of all time players to come out of South FL. I just wanted an opportunity to play a game to provide a better life for my family and I was able to do just that. I want to thank each team for giving me the chance to play and represent your organization and all the fans that supported me through the highs and lows.”

Johnson, 30, racked up 3,519 rushing yards in three seasons at Miami and is still the Hurricanes’ all-time rushing leader.

He was drafted in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft by Cleveland and spent four seasons there. His career-best season came in 2017 when he gained 1,041 yards from scrimmage (348 rushing, 693 receiving) and totaled seven touchdowns.

After 97 career games (21 starts) with the Browns, Houston Texans (2019-20), Miami Dolphins (2021) and Bills (2022), Johnson finished his career with 2,265 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns and 311 receptions for 2,870 yards and 12 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Nov 18, 2023; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; Oregon State Beavers running back Damien Martinez (6) runs the ball during the second half against the Washington Huskies at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Craig Strobeck-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-Oregon State star RB Damien Martinez chooses Miami

Former Oregon State star running back Damien Martinez announced Saturday that he is transferring to Miami.

Martinez was one of the top running backs available in the transfer portal.

“It’s on! 305 it’s that time,” Martinez said on social media with a reference to Miami’s area code.

Martinez earned All-Pac-12 first-team honors by rushing for 1,185 yards and nine touchdowns on 194 carries in 12 games last season for a 6.1 average per carry. He recorded six 100-yard games with a high of 146 against Stanford.

In two seasons with the Beavers, Martinez has 2,167 rushing yards and 16 TDs on 355 carries in 25 games.

Last season was Oregon State’s final one in the Pac-12. Coach Jonathan Smith departed for the same job at Michigan State.

–Field Level Media

Oct 14, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; Miami Hurricanes running back Henry Parrish Jr. (21) carries the football against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the first half at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Former Miami RB Henry Parrish Jr. returns to Ole Miss

Former Miami Hurricanes running back Henry Parrish Jr. committed to Ole Miss on Monday, returning to the school where he started his college career in 2020.

Parrish entered the transfer portal last Tuesday, the first day of the spring transfer window, and announced his decision to join the Rebels on social media Monday.

Parrish gained 625 yards on the ground and scored six touchdowns for the Hurricanes in 2023. Across four seasons with Ole Miss (2020-21) and Miami (2022-23), Parrish amassed 2,057 rushing yards, 56 receptions for 384 yards and 17 total touchdowns (15 rushing).

He has one year of eligibility remaining.

Coach Lane Kiffin adds Parrish to the mix of potential running backs to replace starter Quinshon Judkins, who went to Ohio State via the transfer portal. The Rebels’ second-leading rusher last season, Ulysses Bentley IV, returns after posting 540 yards rushing and five rushing and receiving touchdowns, and the team also added transfers Jacory Croskey-Merritt from New Mexico and Logan Diggs from LSU.

–Field Level Media

Oct 7, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Colorado Buffaloes cornerback Cormani McClain (1) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Mountain America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Transfer roundup: Colorado CB Cormani McClain enters portal

Colorado cornerback Cormani McClain, a former five-star high school recruit, entered the transfer portal on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

Tuesday was the first day of the spring transfer window. The portal will remain open for players to enter until April 30.

McClain appeared in nine games for the Buffaloes in 2023, Deion Sanders’ first season as Colorado’s coach. McClain started four games and finished the season with 13 tackles and two pass breakups.

He was the No. 1 cornerback in the Class of 2023, per the 247Sports composite rankings.

–Miami lost leading rusher Henry Parrish Jr. and backup quarterback Jacurri Brown to the portal.

Parrish gained 625 yards on the ground and scored six touchdowns for the Hurricanes in 2023. Across four seasons with Ole Miss (2020-21) and Miami (2022-23), Parrish amassed 2,057 rushing yards, 56 receptions for 384 yards and 17 total touchdowns (15 rushing).

Brown has seen action in nine games over the past two seasons at Miami. He was likely to rank behind Emory Williams and incoming transfers Cam Ward and Reese Poffenbarger on the QB depth chart.

–Oregon State running back Damien Martinez is officially in the portal, with On3 reporting that he will visit Miami, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arizona.

It was reported last week that Martinez intended to enter the portal. He was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team by rushing for 1,185 yards and nine touchdowns on 194 carries in 12 games last season for an average of 6.1 yards per carry. He recorded six 100-yard games on the ground, with a high of 146 against Stanford.

In two seasons with the Beavers, Martinez had 2,167 rushing yards and 16 TDs on 355 carries in 25 games.

–True freshman offensive lineman Jason Zandamela is looking to transfer from Southern California, 247Sports reported.

Zandamela was the No. 4 interior offensive line prospect in the Class of 2024, per the 247Sports composite. He is a native of Mozambique who played rugby before moving to the United States.

–Kadyn Proctor is back in the portal with a “do not contact” label, multiple reports said, indicating the offensive lineman plans to return to Alabama.

Once a five-star offensive tackle prospect in the Class of 2023, Proctor — a native of Des Moines, Iowa — originally committed to Iowa before flipping to Alabama. After spending his freshman season with the Crimson Tide, he entered the portal following coach Nick Saban’s decision to retire.

Proctor committed to Iowa during the previous transfer window but announced on March 19 that he would not be staying with the Hawkeyes’ program and would re-enter the portal in the spring.

–Former four-star quarterback recruit Tad Hudson plans to transfer out of North Carolina, On3 reported.

Hudson did not see the field as a true freshman in Chapel Hill while backing up Drake Maye, a likely first-round pick in this month’s NFL draft.

–Field Level Media

Feb 28, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Penn State defensive lineman Chop Robinson (DL45) speaks at a press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Combine Notebook: Penn State’s Chop Robinson ready to flex

INDIANAPOLIS — Circle DL 45 in your program before the start of defensive line workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday morning if you want to be ahead of the “riser” talk around Penn State defensive end Chop Robinson.

Robinson’s blue-chip trait happens to be a lightning-fast first step, the golden gift for pass rushers, and he is widely projected to be selected in the top 20 of the 2024 NFL Draft in April.

Robinson had only four sacks as a junior in 2023 and played 10 games. He’s undeniably raw but began working on consistency with his hand usage when the season ended and he declared for the draft.

“At my best, my bend, hands and ability to dip around the corner to the quarterback,” Robinson said of his best traits. “I’m trying to jump 11 feet in the broad (jump).”

Brace for buzz around Robinson to be amplified by Thursday night if he delivers on what he said Wednesday were his best workout numbers in preparation for the event. He said he’s targeting a 4.4-second 40 and a vertical of 38 to 40 inches based on benchmarks he already has hit.

Mind you, Demeioun Robinson — nicknamed Porkchop as a 14-pound baby, shortened to Chop when he slimmed down — is 6-foot-3, 254 pounds.

Media mentioned former Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, a two-time All-Pro with the Dallas Cowboys and the 12th overall pick in 2021, as a comparison to Robinson on Wednesday. For reference, Parsons measured 6-3, 245 before the 2021 draft but has no official combine workout numbers because the event was canceled in 2021 due to COVID-19.

–Bears head coach Matt Eberflus begins every formal meeting with draft prospects at the combine the same way: offering them the choice of playing putt-putt or darts in the team’s hotel suite before the interview questions begin.

“I like putting. I’m pretty good at both,” Eberflus said. “Then we’ll just teach them something about the offense, an offensive play, and then we’ll show their tape and have them talk about their tape. Kind of checking their FBI (football intelligence) out there and then recall at the end to give us back what they learned in the beginning. And it’s the same process for all the players.”

LSU defensive tackle Maason Smith met with Chicago on Tuesday night and said he grabbed the putter.

“I like golf more than darts,” Smith said.

–Three prospects continuing their meteoric rise this week are Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, Missouri defensive lineman Darius Robinson and Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell.

Expect to hear much more about McCarthy, who has three total losses between two high schools and three seasons at Michigan, acing interviews with NFL teams.

Robinson changed positions in his fifth season at Missouri last season and is being praised for that versatility in the trenches. He can line up at any spot on the defensive line.

Mitchell had 46 combined passes defensed the past two seasons and has all the skills to be the first defensive back drafted. If he runs the 40 time he expects — 4.3 seconds — at 200 pounds, that could be a reality.

–Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. huddled with his dad’s former team, the Philadelphia Eagles, and had a session with Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Trotter Jr. said his dad prepped him with practice interview questions and has been an integral part of his preparation for two decades.

“Being in the league growing up, being around the game basically my whole life, he’s taught me a lot about playing the linebacker position,” Trotter Jr. said. “He’s definitely helped me get to this position here and I give a lot of credit to him.”

–As the Tennessee Titans dig into draft prospect evaluations of offensive linemen, new head coach Brian Callahan is getting additional face time with his dad. That would be offensive line coach Bill Callahan.

“There’s not many people that are going to tell him how to do his job,” Brian Callahan said. “He’s about as good at it as anybody. It’s been really fun for me. It’s been a dream come true to be able to sit and to have a cup of coffee with my dad in the morning and talk about what we got coming up that day and talk about pass protection and technique and watch him do his job, too. It’s been awesome.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 25, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington State Cougars quarterback Cameron Ward (1) scrambles out of the pocket against the Washington Huskies during the second quarter at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-Washington St. QB Cameron Ward picks Miami over draft

Former Washington State quarterback Cam Ward has changed his mind again, this time deciding to forego the NFL and transfer to quarterback-needy Miami instead.

Ward, whom a handful of colleges coveted in the transfer portal before he said on Jan. 1 that he was entering the NFL draft, announced his latest move on social media on Saturday. He will have one year of eligibility remaining.

Ohio State and Florida State were among many schools that were seen as landing spots for Ward, who was fourth in FBS in passing with 3,732 yards, completing 66.7 percent of his passes for 25 touchdowns (tied for 16th) with seven interceptions in 12 games this past season. He added eight rushing touchdowns.

Most of those other schools have since found other options at quarterback.

Ward earned All-Pac 12 Conference honorable mention honors his first season at Washington State in 2022. He passed for 3,231 yards, 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Ward previously was enrolled at Incarnate Word, where he passed for 4,648 yards in 2021 while completing 384 of 590 passes (65.1 percent), with 47 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He was selected to the FCS All-America second team.

Ward then followed coach Eric Morris, who left Incarnate Word to become offensive coordinator at Washington State.

Miami started Jacurri Brown at quarterback for its Pinstripe Bowl game at Yankee Stadium in New York on Dec. 28. It was the quarterback’s first collegiate start, and he completed 20 of 31 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown and an interception in a 31-24 loss to Rutgers.

Brown got the call when fourth-year junior Tyler Van Dyke transferred to Wisconsin and reserve Emory Williams was out with a fracture in his left (non-throwing) arm on Nov. 11 at Florida State.

The Hurricanes finished the season at 7-6.

–Field Level Media

Dec 28, 2023; Bronx, NY, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Kyle Monangai (5) celebrates his touchdown against Miami Hurricanes during the second quarter with Rutgers Scarlet Knights wide receiver Isaiah Washington (14) at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers takes down Miami to capture Pinstripe Bowl

Kyle Monangai rushed for 163 yards and a touchdown, Gavin Wimsatt added two short scoring runs and Rutgers rallied in the second half to top Miami 31-24 Thursday in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

Monangai ripped off a 40-yard run to the 1-yard line early in the fourth quarter that set up Wimsatt’s second 1-yard touchdown sneak with 11:51 remaining in the game, increasing the Scarlet Knights’ advantage to 28-17.

Wimsatt completed 7 of 15 passes for 84 yards for Rutgers (7-6), which beat the Hurricanes for the first time in 12 meetings, dating back to the schools’ time in the Big East Conference. It marked Rutgers’ first bowl victory since 2014.

Miami (7-6) took its only lead with 10:33 left in the third quarter on Jacurri Brown’s 30-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Restrepo. But the Scarlet Knights regained the lead with 5:06 left in the period when Timmy Ward recovered a blocked punt in the end zone.

Brown was 20-of-31 for 181 yards with a touchdown and an interception in his first start. He also ran for two touchdowns, including a 1-yard run with 27 seconds left that got the Hurricanes within seven points.

Miami recovered an onside kick but was stopped on downs at the Rutgers’ 47-yard line with seven seconds remaining.

Rutgers dominated the first quarter and a half behind a physical ground game coupled with a stifling defense. The Scarlet Knights chewed up the game’s first 8:06 with a 75-yard drive that Wimsatt capped with a 1-yard sneak.

Rutgers made it 14-0 at the 7:37 mark of the second quarter on a 7-yard touchdown run by Monangai. Rutgers cashed in a 42-yard field, set up after Abram Wright intercepted Brown.

At that point, Miami, which was outgained 115-5 in the first quarter, decided to join the game.

With the help of consecutive personal fouls on the Scarlet Knights’ Aaron Lewis, the Hurricanes got on the board with Brown’s 7-yard scoring jaunt. Then they drove 73 yards inside the final minute to set up a 35-yard field goal by Andres Borregales as time expired, drawing within 14-10 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

Nov 24, 2023; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Colbie Young (4) reacts after making a reception against the Boston College Eagles during the first half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Former Miami WR Colbie Young transfers to Georgia

Georgia used the transfer portal to nab another wide receiver, reeling in Miami’s Colbie Young, according to a social media post by Young on Saturday.

“Thank you Miami coaches and teammates for everything,” Young wrote on his Instagram account. “Y’all made the experience amazing and I’m extremely grateful. Thank you to my agent, family, friends, etc. for supporting me through this decision. With that being said I have decided to transfer and am committing to (the) University of Georgia.”

A sizeable receiver at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, Young is a junior who will have one season of eligibility left.

At Miami this year, Young caught 47 passes for 563 yards and five touchdowns. In two seasons with the Hurricanes, Young notched 79 receptions for 930 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Young joins fellow wide receiver London Humphreys, who joined the Bulldogs via the transfer portal on Monday. Humphreys had 22 receptions for 439 yards in 2023 for Vanderbilt.

The Bulldogs also added former four-star recruit defensive lineman Xzavier McLeod out of South Carolina via the transfer portal, McLeod announced Friday.

–Field Level Media

Oct 7, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; A general view of an end zone pylon prior to the game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Miami flips 5-star DT Justin Scott from Ohio State

Five-star defensive tackle Justin Scott has flipped his commitment to Miami from Ohio State in a move with significant implications for both programs.

Scott, who plays for St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, is the No. 3-ranked defensive lineman and 12th overall recruit in the country by 247Sports Composite rankings for 2024. He committed to the Buckeyes in July, but said that South Florida had remained on his mind.

“From the first time they offered me to now, they have never changed. Even when I committed they still recruited me and emphasized the need for my position there,” Scott told On3. “I’ve built so many strong relationships there as well with everybody on the staff.”

Ohio State and Miami were among Scott’s initial finalists along with Michigan, while he was also receiving interested from the likes of Alabama and Georgia. Scott committed to the Buckeyes, but said South Florida remained on his mind due to strong connections with Hurricanes coach Mario Cristobal and defensive line coach Joe Salave’a.

It also helps that Scott’s close friend, Marquise Lightfoot, has also committed to Miami. The pair are now part of one of the nation’s top-rated recruiting classes.

“I have been down there three times and I always loved it,” he said. “It always felt like family, and it is a place I wanted to stay each time I visited because of how I felt around the staff. And they have shown that young guys have great opportunities to make big impacts. Coach Mario Cristobal plays young players, and that stands out to me because I will go in and have a chance to make an early impact.”

Meanwhile, Scott’s departure serves a significant blow to Ohio State’s recruiting class, which had been rated as high as No. 2 in the nation. Buckeyes coach Ryan Day still has commitments from three other five-star prospects, including wide receiver Jeremiah Smith out of Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Hollywood, Fla.

Ohio State does have commitments from defensive linemen Eddrick Houston and Eric Mensah and is scheduled to host four-star D-lineman Ernest Willor Jr. in December, according to On3.

–Field Level Media

Oct 28, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) throws the football against the Virginia Cavaliers during the second quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Miami, Boston College seeking to snap slumps

Boston College and Miami will look to cap the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season on a high note in their first meeting since 2018 on Friday afternoon in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

The Eagles (6-5, 3-4) moved from 1-3 to bowl eligible during a five-game winning streak, but last week’s 24-16 setback at Pitt was their second straight loss to a sub-.500 team.

Despite Thomas Castellanos’ 14th touchdown pass and Kye Robichaux’s third 100-yard rushing game this season, coach Jeff Hafley’s team gave up 404 yards, committed two turnovers and settled for field goals on three scoring drives.

Hafley, who called the loss to Pitt “a missed opportunity,” knows that goals remain as the postseason nears.

“There’s a lot to play for,” Hafley said. “We need to improve on a lot of things. We’ve got some new guys who have stepped up and want to get better, and then you get those bowl practices in. We still have a chance to win eight games. There’s a lot of pride in these guys.”

Robichaux returned from an injury against Pitt, but the Eagles remain banged up with several players out for the season.

Miami (6-5, 2-5) is on a three-game skid that began with losses at North Carolina State and Florida State before continuing in a 38-31 Saturday setback to a Louisville team that is bound for the ACC title game.

Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke, who has dealt with a leg injury this season, threw for 327 yards and a touchdown while connecting with Xavier Restrepo eight times for a career-high 193 yards.

“He was very determined. It carried over to (the Louisville week),” Miami coach Mario Cristobal said of his quarterback, who did not start the previous game against Florida State. “He was very urgent if you watch the way he was moving around in the pocket. His feet were quick. He’s healthy now, too, almost completely.”

However, the Hurricanes fell just short of the upset after surrendering two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Miami leads the all-time series 24-6, but Boston College has won two of the three matchups between the former Big East rivals since 2011.

–Field Level Media