University of Miami

Manny Diaz, Miami Hurricanes bring another West Coast transfer through the ‘portal’

At 9:17 p.m. Tuesday, University of Miami football coach Manny Diaz, who these days doubles as a Hurricanes social media hype man, posted on Twitter his latest variation of a portal GIF — transfer portal, naturally.

Diaz accompanied his GIF with two hashtags: “#WelcomeToTheU #TNM.”

Diaz and his Hurricanes have lured yet another transfer to Miami, this time defensive lineman Chigozie Nnoruka from the UCLA Bruins.

Nnoruka announced his commitment less than an hour after Diaz’s original tweet with a quick Twitter message of his own: “Blessed to announce I’m officially [a] Cane.”

As a graduate transfer, Nnoruka will be eligible to play immediately for Miami and have one year of eligibility remaining.

Nnoruka joins quarterback Tate Martell from the Ohio State Buckeyes, running back Asa Martin from the Auburn Tigers, wide receiver K.J. Osborn from the Buffalo Bulls, offensive lineman Tommy Kennedy from the FCS Butler Bulldogs and safety Bubba Bolden, formerly of the Southern California Trojans, as transfers to commit to the Hurricanes since the start of the early signing period last month. Nnoruka, Bolden and Martell, who attended high school in Las Vegas, all have West Coast ties.

At 6-2 and 287 pounds, Nnoruka will give Miami depth at defensive tackle. The Hurricanes are replacing two contributors from their two-deep depth chart as both Gerald Willis and Tito Odenigbo have exhausted their eligibility. Nnoruka visited Coral Gables last weekend and told that Miami’s staff pitched him on replacing Willis.

Nnoruka is originally from Nigeria and came to the United States for his senior year of high school in Sacramento, California. After recording 10 sacks as a senior at Kennedy High, Nnoruka attended American River College, a junior college in Sacramento, for one season, then transferred to UCLA. Nnoruka didn’t play his first season with the Bruins, then started 10 games as a sophomore in 2017, recording 49 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks.

Nnoruka slid back into a reserve role as a junior last season, logging just seven tackles in 11 games, per the Bruins’ website, as UCLA transitioned from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 alignment under first-year coach Chip Kelly.

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Miami Herald sports writer Susan Miller Degnan has been the Miami Hurricanes football beat writer since 2000, the season before the Canes won it all. She has won several APSE national writing awards and has covered everything from Canes baseball to the College Football Playoff to major marathons to the Olympics.