Utah State all-conference running back Joey DeMartino signed a free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, it was announced Saturday.
DeMartino becomes the eighth Utah State football player from the 2013 Mountain West Conference Mountain Division and San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl championship team to move on to the NFL as safety Maurice Alexander was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the fourth round (110th pick) and cornerback Nevin Lawson was also drafted in the fourth round (133rd pick) by the Detroit Lions, while center Tyler Larsen (Miami Dolphins), tight end D.J. Tialavea (Jacksonville Jaguars), nose guard AJ Pataiali’i (Baltimore Ravens), linebacker Jake Doughty (Green Bay Packers) and cornerback Tay Glover-Wright (Atlanta Falcons) signed free agent contracts.
DeMartino, a 5-foot-11, 200-pounder from San Diego, Calififornia (Mt. Carmel High School/Grossmont JC), earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors as a senior after ranking fifth in the league and 31st in the nation with 13 rushing touchdowns, and sixth in the league and 45th in the nation with an average of 87.2 rushing yards per game. DeMartino, who played in all 14 games with eight starts, finished his senior season by rushing for 100 yards seven times, including in five of his final seven games, and those seven 100-yard rushing games rank tied for fourth all-time at USU for a single season.
DeMartino ended his senior season with 1,221 rushing yards on 221 carries (5.5 ypc) to rank 12th all-time at USU for a single season in rushing yards. He also scored 13 rushing touchdowns on the year, which ranks tied for ninth at USU in a single season, while his 5.5 yards per carry average ranks tied for ninth in a single season.
Highlights from DeMartino’s senior season include a career-high 144 rushing yards on 12 carries at New Mexico as he tied his career high with three rushing touchdowns and was named an honorable mention national running back of the week by College Football Performance Awards. He also earned CFPA honorable mention honors following his performance against Weber State as he rushed for 105 yards on eight carries and scored three touchdowns.
DeMartino was also named the Offensive Most Valuable Player of the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl as he carried the ball 23 times for 143 yards and one touchdown, including setting the Poinsettia Bowl record with a 58-yard rush in the first quarter in USU’s 21-14 win against No. 24 Northern Illinois.
DeMartino finished his career 16th all-time in school history with 1,378 rushing yards on 250 carries (5.5 ypc), and he also ranks eighth all-time in Aggie history with his career 5.5 yards per carry average. He caught 15 passes for 139 yards (9.3 ypr) with one touchdown as an Aggie.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter and Facebook.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.
Copyright 2017, Deseret News Publishing Company