Vaughn Martin # DT
Height: 6-4 Weight: 300 Age: 29
Born: 4/18/1986 Negril Jamaica
College: Western Ontario (Canada)
Experience: 5th season
High School: South Sec. School [London, Canada]; Milford Acad. [New Berlin, NY]
Selected By: San Diego Chargers
Pick (Overall): 13 (113)
One of the most talented athletes in the Canadian collegiate ranks, Martin brought back memories of William "Refrigerator" Perry for his exploits as a short-yardage blocker and fullback during his second season with the Mustangs. Certainly in much better physical shape than Perry, he displays excellent explosion off the snap, utilizing that quickness to terrorize quarterbacks.
Having moved to defensive end for the 2008 campaign, Martin played a major role in the team's success en route to winning the Yates Cup and playing for the Vanier Cup (Canadian national title). His ability to handle multiple blockers and contain the inside running game saw his opponents frustrated, as they managed to gain only seven yards on 36 rushing plays (0.19 ypc) directed toward him. With his timing and leaping ability, he also saw his opponent complete just 3 of 16 passes into his area (18.75%) for a mere 6 yards.
Nicknamed "Vicious" by his teammates, the defensive line has come to rely upon him to serve as the unit's anchor. Former teammate and fellow down lineman Tom Dolezel recently stated, "We've been playing really well, but I think it is really because Vaughn has come in and basically anchored that strong side."
Born on the island of Jamaica, Martin was raised in Toronto and London, Ontario. He attended South Secondary School, playing football for head coach Mike Stenning. He competed as a defensive end, defensive tackle and fullback in high school, recording 90 tackles with five stops behind the line of scrimmage in 2004. The three-time starter was rated one of the top 12 defensive ends in Ontario by All-Star Football and Weir's Magazine. He also received a two-star prospect rating from Rivals.com.
Prior to beginning his collegiate career, Martin competed for two summers with the Forest City Thunderbirds in the Central Ontario Football League. He also was a member of Team Canada, playing in the 2006 NFL Global Junior Championship in Detroit. He was named to the NFL Global Junior Championship X All-Tournament Team after helping Team Canada to a perfect 5-0 record, including five shutouts.
That season, he finished fourth on the squad in tackles with 10 (9 solos) and made four tackles for losses (12 yards) in the tournament, including two sacks for minus 9 yards. He recorded three solo hits, including a 4-yard sack, in Team Canada's 10-0 victory over Team U.S.A. in the championship game. He also registered three solo stops, including one for a loss, in a third-round game vs. Team U.S.A and posted his first sack of the tournament in the opening-round game vs. Team Japan.
Martin's stellar performances drew the attention of several United States major colleges. He turned down scholarship offers from Toledo and Ohio University to enroll at Michigan State in 2006, but failed to qualify due to academic transcript issues. He then enrolled at Milford Academy, a prep school in New York.
Martin later returned home to Ontario, where Western Ontario head coach Mickey Donovan convinced the talented athlete to enroll at the university. After a lunch-time meeting, the coach was able to sway him from choosing other interested schools, including Concordia (CIS) and Akron, for the 2007 season. What also helped Martin in his decision was the fact that Chris Marcus, Western's former special teams coordinator, coached him at South Secondary School.
Martin saw action at defensive tackle and end during his first season at Western Ontario. On the field, he made steady progress each week, finishing the season with 56 tackles (35 solos), three sacks and a fumble recovery. Known both for excellent pass-rushing and run-stopping ability, his versatile defensive skill-set immediately put fear into opposing teams.
In 2008, Martin performed mostly at defensive tackle earlier in the year, but he also had great success filling in for injured teammate Chris Greaves at defensive end, earning GoodLife Fitness Athlete of the Week honors for his performance at that position vs. Queen's. In 12 games, he collected 36 tackles (22 solos) with 3.5 sacks, 7.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage and 13 pressures. He returned an interception for a touchdown, registered a safety, caused a fumble and recovered two others. He provided stellar blocking at the fullback position, where he scored twice on a pair of 3-yard rushing attempts, finishing with 10 yards on four carries.