Safety Cody Davis and specialist Sam Martin visit the Lions Thursday

Posted Apr 11, 2013

After an impressive performance at the Super Regional Combine in Dallas, Cody Davis could be a potential mid-to-late round pick for the Lions

Cody DavisS Cody Davis (AP Images)
Cody Davis and new wife Ashley are still waiting to go on their honeymoon to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The former Texas Tech safety was married just two days before the Super Regional Combine in Dallas, where Davis opened the eyes of a few NFL teams -- including the Lions -- with his performance.

Davis' reported 4.42 and 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash and had a 41 1/2-inch vertical for a player who already has good size at 6-foot-2, 203 pounds.

"It's important to get out there and get in front of scouts that you might not get a chance to otherwise," Davis told "As a guy coming under the radar, you have to take every opportunity that comes at you, even if it's two days after your wedding. I had to do that and luckily it paid off for me."

The Lions scheduled a pre-draft visit with Davis following that workout and he was in Allen Park meeting with coaches and front office personnel on Thursday.

Davis was an in-the-box safety in Texas Tech's defensive scheme and he finished fourth in the nation in solo tackles with 84. He ended his senior season with 101 total tackles and three interceptions.

"I'm a sure tackler," Davis said. "Sometimes it's not always the prettiest thing and I don't get up and celebrate quite often, but I expect to make plays and I expect to make tackles."

The Lions are still in need of some depth at safety, despite signing Glover Quin in free agency and re-signing Louis Delmas last month.

The Lions' other backup safeties include Don Carey, Amari Spievey, Tyrell Johnson, Ricardo Silva and John Wendling.

Davis said he's looking forward to relaxing on the beaches in Mexico with his new bride, but not before he takes his pre-draft visits and chases his dreams of playing in the NFL.

He's expected to be a mid- to late-round pick.

Sam Martin says his NFL future is in punting and kickoffs

Sam MartinP/KOS Same Martin (Photo: David Scearce)

Like most kickers and punters, Sam Martin had an accomplished soccer career before football.

In fact, Martin had accepted a soccer scholarship to Georgia State following his junior season in high school in the state of Georgia.

He joined the football team for kicks (no pun intended) his senior season and excelled. Appalachian State came calling following the season, offering Martin a scholarship after he averaged 69 yards per kickoff in the first year he ever played football.

Following a redshirt season, Martin was moved to punter and exclusively handled the team's punting and kickoff duties for the next four years.

Interestingly, Martin had never punted until he got to college. It was only after booming a few just messing around in practices that coaches switched him over.

"It's turning more into a common trend (for punters to handle kickoff duties) in the NFL," Martin said. "Just because the field goal kickers are such a valuable position and some of those guys are deadly accurate, but might not be able to hit kickoffs to the back of the end zone. It's a trend you're going to see more of."

When it came to punting, Martin ranked third nationally in the FCS (Division 1-AA) with a 45.9-yard punting average last season. Twenty-five of his 60 punts were downed inside the opponent's 20 yard line, which set a school record and helped the Mountaineers rank second nationally with a 40.8-yard net punting average.

As a kickoff specialist, he averaged 63.1 yards per kick with 45 touchbacks in 71 kickoffs in 2012.

Martin also made 7-of-10 field goals last year after replacing a teammate, but he says his NFL future is in punting and kickoffs.

The Lions signed punter Blake Clingan this offseason, but it was always believed there would be a competition in camp to win the job. Clingan doesn't have much experience kicking off.

The team did sign kicker David Akers this offseason, who had 40 touchbacks last year with the 49ers, ranking him in the top 10 in the NFL.

Martin said that upon hearing the Lions had signed Akers, he started working on holding field goals from the opposite side because Akers is left-footed.

"I've found that's its not too different," Martin said. "I think the biggest difference is just holding it with your right and spinning it with your left. Most of the time, NFL snappers give you the laces anyways so you don't have to spin it. I'm getting better at it and I'm not too worried about it."

Martin said his biggest asset when punting is controlling the ball, whether it's hitting a high ball, a line drive or placing it in a certain spot.

"If I had to say one thing I'd say hang time," Martin said. "But I just think I have really good ball control."