We have all heard of the small school prospect. Perhaps a player like Marques Colston will emerge from a school like Hofstra, or Steve Smith and Chad Johnson both emerge from the same junior college.
The NFL, however, has never seen anything quite like 22-year old Vaughn Martin. An intriguing article on NFL.com prompted me to take a look at this "mystery" prospect.
Martin is a red-shirt sophomore out of Western Ontario University, a school not known for producing many NFL studs. In fact, Martin would become the one and only Western Ontario player to grace an NFL field in 2009.
So why bring this kid up? He's just another NFL hopeful right? Wrong.
At a recent pro day held just across the border between the United States and Canada, Martin wowed scouts with his athletic ability. He measures at 6'4" 327 pounds, and ran the 40-yard dash in 5.04 seconds. He also threw up 225 pounds on the bench press 32 times.
Even though he passed up a chance to play defensive tackle for the Michigan State Spartans coming out of high school, he still plans on playing professionally nowhere but here in the United States, even forgoing three years of college eligibility to do so.
“I’m raw, but I am extremely athletic,” Martin told NFL.com. “I am bigger than most of the guys already playing those positions and I’m tough. With me, you get a blank canvas to mold into whatever you want to mold me into.”
Martin's passing on three years of eligibility doesn't affect him with Western Ontario, and even if he goes undrafted, he can still return there and play football again. However, he has no intentions of pursuing that option.
It will be interesting, at the very least, to see what happens to this "diamond in the rough" come draft day.