Martial earning respect and admiration of teammates

Published 6:58 pm Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Carlton Martial’s name has been at the top of Troy’s defensive statistics list all season long. Despite his small stature, Martial’s heart and hard work ethic is what has impressed many of his coaches and teammates.

Martial is listed at 5-foot 10-inches tall weighing 216 pounds, but he is who opponents notice first when turning on the game film.

“You can’t help but notice him,” Troy quarterback Kaleb Barker said. “He’s flying around the field. He’s a pain in the butt because a lot of times, you can’t see him. They’ll be pass pro-ing our offensive line, and he’ll slip out to your flat route or your stick route and just pick you off. He sits really well on the run. The dude is a baller.”

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Martial finished Saturday’s game against Texas State with seven tackles, but also had two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown in the game’s final minutes. The two interceptions gave Martial three on the season. Martial is 10th in the country with 101 total tackles, 58 of which were solo tackles.

Lindsey got his first look at Martial this spring and immediately found out how disruptive the sophomore linebacker can be.

“In the spring, I kept getting upset because he’s making all the tackles,” Lindsey said. “I was mad at the O-linemen. He’s a guy that’s a classic example of a guy that loves football, that all he cares about is being as good as he can be –and that’s in the classroom, out on the field. He’s what you’re looking for in a Troy Kind of Guy (TKG). Luckily, he came here and walked on and earned a scholarship and I sure am glad he’s here because he’s doing a great job for us.”

Lineman Kirk Kelley was one of the linemen Lindsey was yelling at during practice. Kelley consistently went one on one with Martial in practice when the linebacker arrived on scene.

“My first encounter with Carlton was on scout team his freshman year,” Kelley said. “He was always a problem for us. Coach used to get on us all the time about not blocking him or tossing us around or something like that. So, he definitely made a first impression on us.

Martial has been lined up next to fellow sophomore linebacker KJ Robertson. Robertson picked up an interception along with Martial on Saturday, but he was hoping for the second.

“If you watch the play, I’m right behind him and I’m going to catch the ball. He wants to spider man and stuff, snatching that thing one handed. I just told him to get behind me and I’m going to take you to the end zone.”

The connection that Martial and Robertson have starts with communication.

“Martial is my big little brother,” Robertson said. “Me and him have great on- and off-the-field chemistry. I just think we fit each other’s play style really well. He is more of a true downhill Mike linebacker. I’m a lot longer and more pass savvy. We have a lot of fun out there.”