Vaughn Martin is the third free agent signed by the Lions this off-season, and brings depth to the team’s defensive line.
The former Canadian University star joins wide receivers Golden Tate and Kevin Ogletree as new Lions.
Martin was born in Jamaica and raised in Canada. He played in three games for Miami last season, making one tackle.
A standout at the University of Western Ontario, Martin was the first CIS underclassman ever drafted to the NFL (fourth round by San Diego in 2009) and played four seasons with the Chargers, making 78 tackles in 48 games. He also had three sacks.
Martin joins fellow Canadian Cory Greenwood on the Lions.
Greenwood, who also played in the CIS (Concordia) but was not drafted, was poised to have a shot at making the team as a special teams contributor last summer before he suffered a season-ending injury. He will compete for a roster spot this year.
Following the 2013 season the Lions released a pair of veterans with Canadian ties. Receiver Nate Burleson was born in Calgary, and Defensive Tackle Israel Idonije grew up in Manitoba. Burleson and Idonije are both currently searching for new teams.
As a youth, the primary sports Martin 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 before enrolling at Western University in London, Ontario, where he led the Mustangs to the Vanier Cup in his first year. Martin was one of the most intelligent players to emerge from the 2009 NFL Draft, scoring a 38 on the league’s Wonderlic Test.