Vaughn Martin, the first CIS underclassman ever drafted into the NFL, has signed a free agent contract with the Miami Dolphins.
Andy Kent of Dolphins.com writes the 6-foot-4, 297-pound Canadian had talks with the Chargers, Patriots, Chiefs, Lions Saints, Eagles and Seahawks before settling on the Dolphins. The former Western University Mustang’s final destination was still up in the air right up until March 28, the day he signed.
“I was actually on the plane to Seattle this morning when I got off the plane to come over here back to Davie and sign,” Martin told Kent.
Martin was a fourth-round selection by San Diego (113th overall) in the 2009 NFL Draft. In addition to lining up at defensive end and tackle for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Mustangs, Martin also played fullback in short-yardage situations. Martin had three years of eligibility left with the Mustangs, but declared for the draft because he was already 22 years old.
Martin, who started more than half of his 48 games as a Charger, was born in Jamaica but moved to Canada when he was nine years old.
Martin recorded 78 tackles, three sacks and one forced fumble in his four NFL seasons.
“We are excited that Vaughn is a member of the Dolphins,” Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland told Kent. “He is an athletic player that we feel will make a positive impact and bring depth to the defensive side of the ball.”
According to Kent the Dolphins actually brought Martin down for a visit back in 2009 before the draft to take a look at him (the same year they signed two-time Pro Bowler Cameron Wake out of the Canadian Football League).
“I got to see him (Wake) in college. Obviously, I was up there in Canada,” Martin told Kent. “I saw him just ball out over there in BC (British Columbia). I didn’t know how much success I was going to have but I believed in myself and I had a goal. Of course it was unconventional but like I said I had a goal and desire and once I came here I wasn’t disappointed. It really is the best thing. It is the best thing in the world. It’s the best opportunity.”
As Martin explains in this Dolphins.com podcast, he had heard a lot about the Dolphins organization from center Mike Pouncey, with whom he trains during the offseason.
Kent reports that Martin is not concerned with where he lines up in defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle’s scheme, as he enjoys playing anywhere on the defensive line (even nose tackle).
Engaging and affable, Martin is a native of Lucea, Jamaica. As a youth, the primary sports that he played were cricket and soccer. When Martin was nine, his mother, Doreen, married a man who lived in Toronto and Martin and his mother moved to Canada. They lived in Toronto and later in London, Ontario, which is where Martin learned to play hockey and football. He didn’t play high school football until the 10th grade and played just two collegiate seasons. In between, Martin played two seasons of summer ball in the Central Ontario Football League and played for Team Canada at the 2006 NFL Global Championships. Team Canada went 5-0 and posted five shutouts while Martin was named to the All-Tournament Team.After high school, Martin spent a year at the Milford Prep School in New York. Ticketed to attend Michigan State after prep school, a mixup over his transcripts prevented him from becoming a Spartan. Instead Martin enrolled at Western Ontario, where he led the Mustangs to the Vanier Cup, Canada’s collegiate national championship football game, as a freshman Teammates at Western Ontario had nicknamed the freshman sensation, “Vicious.” After the Vanier Cup, Martin applied for the NFL Draft with three seasons of college eligibility remaining. He became the first Canadian underclassman to get drafted by an NFL team. Martin played defensive end and tackle at Western Ontario, and played fullback in the team’s short-yardage offense.Martin was one of the most intelligent players to emerge from the 2009 NFL Draft, scoring a 38 on the league’s Wonderlic Test.