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Marshall losing running back duo

Dec. 11, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Both of Marshall University's starting running backs from the 2011 season will officially no longer be on the football field for the Thundering Herd.

Marshall sports information director Jason Corriher confirmed Monday that injuries ended the Herd career of Tron Martinez.

"Doctors have medically disqualified him, but his scholarship will be honored if he chooses to stay at Marshall University," Corriher said.

Martinez was unable to see the field in the 2012 season after multiple off-season surgeries following a successful freshman campaign in 2011.

His 2011 backfield mate, Travon Van, confirmed Monday afternoon that he has decided to transfer to the University of Montana to continue his football career.

In 2011, Martinez and Van were the featured backs for the Herd, combining for 1,200 yards rushing and 342 yards receiving.

Van began the 2012 season as Marshall's starting running back, but head coach Doc Holliday asked him move to a cornerback spot prior to the Rice game once injuries started piling up at the position.

Van saw one series of action at cornerback in the Rice contest, a 54-51 overtime victory for the Herd.

In that contest, freshman running backs Kevin Grooms and Steward Butler both eclipsed 100 yards and ended up seeing the bulk of the carries the rest of the season. Grooms was named as the 2012 Conference USA Freshman of the Year.

After the Rice game, Holliday praised Van for his team-first attitude and willingness to make a switch, but the following week, Van was not on the travel roster for the Purdue contest and he never saw the field again with the Herd.

Later in the season, Holliday said during a press conference that Van was also not medically cleared to play after suffering an injury, plus that he had a family issue he was dealing with.

Van confirmed later that his mother's health was deteriorating and that he was searching for a school closer to his home in San Diego, Calif.

Van will be eligible to play immediately for Montana, an FCS school who is a member of the Big Sky Conference.

As stated earlier, Martinez' scholarship will be honored should he choose to stay at Marshall or he can transfer schools and try to gain clearance by another team's medical staff.

Former Marshall defensive lineman John Youboty was told by doctors that his career was likely over in 2010, but left Marshall in search of a second opinion and ended up transferring to Temple when former Herd defensive line coach Sean Cronin took over the defensive line for the Owls.

Youboty was named as an All-Big East second team selection this season after finishing with 42 tackles and six tackles for loss, including five sacks, while also forcing a fumble.

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