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Chargers select Canadian lineman

Posted Apr 26, 2009

The Chargers used the first of their three fourth-round picks on athletic defensive lineman Vaughn Martin from Western University in Ontario.

Never let it be said the Chargers won’t search the continent for football talent.

The Bolts delved into the Canadian college football ranks with the first of their three fourth-round picks Sunday when they selected 6-foot-3, 331-pound defensive linemen Vaughn Martin of Western Ontario. He was the 113th choice overall.

“Obviously he played at a lower level of competition than the typical Division I college, but our guys loved how he showed flashes of dominance,” said Chargers Director of College Scouting John Spanos. “He moves like a guy that is smaller. He has tremendous upside and his best football is ahead of him.”

Martin was born in Jamaica and grew up in Toronto.  Although he played in Canada, he turned down scholarship offers from two Mid-American Conference, Toledo and Ohio University with plans to play at Michigan State of the Big Ten. But when he didn’t qualify academically, he returned to Canada.

“Our northeastern scout (Tom Gibbons) went up to Canada for a workout that was attended by multiple teams,” Spanos said. “We looked into everything about his background and ability on the field. We felt lucky he was still there when we picked because we liked him all along.”

Spanos said Martin has the athleticism to play defensive end and the size to play nose tackle in the Chargers’ 3-4 scheme.

“They said they would start me out at right defensive end and then work my way to nose,” Martin said. “I’m excited to play both positions and to play with the personnel they have.”

One intriguing aspect Martin hopes to exploit in adapting to American football is his quickness off the line of scrimmage. In Canadian rules, he had to line up one yard off the line, so he will now be closer to the line.

“I have a lot to learn as far as technique,” Martin said. “My quickness helped me with having to play a yard off, so playing a yard closer will be nice.”

Martin’s nickname at Western Ontario was “Vicious.”

“I like to come off the ball and make plays,” Martin said. “I’m very aggressive. I like to hit people hard and chase the ball."

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