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Lions sign Wayne State RB Desmond Martin

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Desmond Martin

The Lions have received production in recent years from a Wayne State running back. Now, they'll try to see if Desmond Martin can follow in Joique Bell's footsteps.

The Lions plan to sign Martin, who went undrafted this year, to a contract Tuesday, according to his agent D. Todd Williams. Martin had a tryout during rookie minicamp last week.

The 5-foot-11, 221-pound Martin is a different player than the powerful 5-foot-11, 229-pound Bell, who went undrafted in 2010 and has been with the Lions since the end of 2011. But both were highly productive with the Warriors as Martin ran for 1,578 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2014.

At Saginaw Valley State's pro day, Martin had a 39 1/2-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot, 3-inch broad jump, along with a 4.73-second 40-yard dash and 26 reps on the bench press.

Martin becomes the Lions' third undrafted running back, joining South Dakota State's Zach Zenner and Alfred State's Rasheed Williams, and fourth rookie tailback, including second-round pick Ameer Abdullah from Nebraska.

To make the team, Martin will have to prove he can be a top-notch special teams player. He'll also have to show he can be a reliable receiver after having just 17 receptions during his Wayne State career.

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

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