Productive UCF safety Nikai Martinez commits to Michigan State football

Oct 28, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers running back CJ Donaldson Jr. (4)
Oct 28, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers running back CJ Donaldson Jr. (4) / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Let me know if you've heard this yet this week. Michigan State football has received a commitment from a transfer out of the transfer portal.

At this point it seems like Jonathan Smith is getting a new player every day, and he once again got another solid player in the secondary who has a chance to be a major contributor at Michigan State.

Nikai Martinez is a safety from UCF and is coming off a very productive two seasons. As a true freshman, he totaled 20 tackles as well as one sack with the Knights, but it was this past season as a sophomore where he really took off. In 2023, Martinez started all 13 games for UCF and recorded 54 tackles and a team high three interceptions.

Martinez was one of the top available defensive backs remaining in the portal, so this is as big of a pickup as we could have hoped for from Michigan State. It's no secret how poor the secondary for MSU has been in recent years, but the addition of Martinez helps immensely. Especially after losing Jaden Mangham to the portal, Martinez could very well become his direct replacement.

This is the second high profile transfer Michigan State has receive this offseason in the secondary, along with Ed Woods from Arizona State. The Spartans are also trending for Indiana cornerback transfer Kobee Minor, who is the top remaining defensive backs in the portal today.

So the position that has needed the most help in recent years is appearing to becoming a strength for the new look Spartans. I am excited to see how all of the pieces fit together this fall, but there is no denying that this group is stronger than we have seen in quite some time in East Lansing if Minor joins Woods and Martinez in East Lansing.