Martial to lead the Trojan defense

Published 3:00 am Thursday, August 8, 2019

When Carlton Martial arrived on campus last season, he was relatively unknown. One year later, he is the face of the Troy Trojan defense.

The Trojans entered camp last Friday morning and when they walked onto the field, Martial was one of five full-time starters from last year’s team.

“We had to shake some of the rust off,” Martial said. “We are getting back to being conditioned.”

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After a stellar career at McGill-Toolen, Martial finished the season with 76 total tackles, eight and half for loss. He forced one fumble and recovered one of them. After being unknown last season, he will be looked at as a leader this year.

“They are looking at me as a leader,” Martial said. “Me, Melvin Tyus and Zo Bridges, we have to get the defense ready for game-type situations.”

Faces of players and coaches have changed since last year. Players have gone and coaches, such as former defensive coordinator Vic Koenning, are coaching at new schools. Martial will have an opportunity to continue to learn from new defensive coordinator Brandon Hall and new head coach Chip Lindsey.

“It’s the same concept defensively, but we have to give effort,” Martial said. “We may mess up, but as long as we give effort and fix those mistakes we will be OK.”

Hall believes Martial is and will be a leader of this year’s defense and team.

“He is a leader by example,” Hall said. “I wish I had 11 like him. He is the ultimate underdog and you have to appreciate where he is coming from. He is a great football player and we have to do a great job at not coaching the football player out of him. He is going to lead by example.”

A lot was made a season ago about the success in Mobile, first against South Alabama and then again in the bowl game against Buffalo at Ladd Peebles Stadium. Martial finished with five tackles against South Alabama. At the end of the season, he finished with six against Buffalo and forced two fumbles, while recovering one of them. Although he geared up for playing in his hometown stadium, playing football on any Saturday is a dream come true for Martial.

“These guys that I can get to play with, many guys don’t get this opportunity,” Martial said. “I just try to make the most of it any chance that I get.”

Despite the success last year, Martial admits he has more to do to become the player he wants to be.

“I need to do better with my conditioning,” Martial said. “I need to work on my movement in the box, move more laterally.”