Pitt State’s Martin earns shot at NFL with hometown Detroit Lions

Jalen Martin has been invited to Lions rookie minicamp.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pitt State wide receiver Jalen Martin is getting his shot at the NFL.

“It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been through a lot of trials and tribulations with this whole football process,” Martin says, “It was amazing to see my mom, my dad and my family smile. They’re proud of me and they believe in me one thousand percent. That support system is amazing for me.”

Martin has been invited to rookie minicamp for his hometown Detroit Lions.

“It meant everything to me, especially being home grown. I’m from Detroit. To see I have interest from the NFL team in my city is amazing and it’s really a blessing,” Martin says, “My agent called me and told me the Lions wanted to bring me into rookie minicamp and that they liked my size, my speed and said that I move very well. That was enough to get me in the door.”

Martin is hoping to earn a roster spot in Detroit – and wear the jersey of his favorite childhood team and favorite wide receiver.

“I grew up a Lions fan. I used to go play my little league games and my family and I used to rush home and get ready to watch the Lions play. We did that every weekend,” Martin adds, “Calvin Johnson is my favorite receiver of all time. His catch radius is ridiculous to me. My catch radius may not be the same as his, but I definitely have a large catch radius. I studied him a lot as a I got older. His level of focus when he’s catching the ball… The way he goes up and high-points the ball, I definitely try to imitate that. He won a lot of 50/50 balls.”

The Detroit native played 15 games for Pittsburg State – four non-conference games in the fall of 2020, and then a full MIAA regular season last fall.

Martin caught 29 passes for 312 yards (10.8 avg) with a pair of touchdowns in the four games in 2020.

He followed that up with 832 yards and 5 touchdowns in the fall of 2021 – earning 2nd team All-MIAA honors.

Martin will report to the team’s rookie minicamp on May 12th, with camp running through May 15th.

He’s excited to have the opportunity – and motivated to show what he can do after going undrafted last week.

“I’m extremely motivated. I feel like I’m walking in there with everything to prove. I’m going to walk in there like I belong there. That’s just the mindset that I have,” Martin says, “I just want to continue to let everyone know who Jalen Martin is. I’ve only had one full season and four games to really prove to myself and prove to the people who have always believe in me that I can do whatever I want…I’m walking in there with everything to prove.”

“If you’re not drafted and you’re not one of the high priority guys, it’s stressful,” Martin says of the last week, “You know you may be a second away from being done and having to start a life with a different job. When it’s your dream, it’s very stressful. I’m going to be forever grateful for this opportunity.”