Robertson giving Troy a good one-two punch at linebacker

Published 8:06 pm Thursday, November 21, 2019

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Carlton Martial has stolen the headlines at the linebacker position going back to last season, but lately a new name has emerged in KJ Robertson.

The sophomore linebacker led the team with eight tackles on Saturday, including six solo tackles and one tackle for loss. Robertson made an impact in the passing game as well. He picked off a Texas State pass for his first interception of the season.

“He’s coming into his own,” defensive coordinator Brandon Hall said. “You can tell his comfort level is improving. He’s really starting to feel and see things pre-snap. Great players are the ones who can anticipate things by formations and sets. I’m starting to see those type of things.”

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One play that stood out to coach Hall occurred on a fourth down play where Robertson made an open-field tackle to end a Texas State drive.

“That was one of my favorite plays of the game,” Hall said. “The angle that he took and getting the guy down, there was never any hesitation. You could tell he was very confident in how he played.”

Robertson spent a lot of time talking with coaches and watching film leading up to last Saturday’s game. The sophomore was quick to give credit to his coaches for getting him in the right position.

“It was really due to preparation, and coach Hall and coach Warwick getting me in the right places, watching a lot of film on them,” Robertson said. “I was comfortable out there. What they showed us is what I have watched 100 times. It was getting to the football and the guys up front did a real nice job for Martial and me. I was comfortable out there and having fun.”

Robertson shared Hall’s opinion of him playing with more confidence over the last few weeks. He believes that film work has played a big role in that confidence.

“Two months ago, I was probably not as sure of myself. I wasn’t as confident,” Robertson said. “I was so scared to do something wrong and not go full speed. Something clicked and I knew I couldn’t do that anymore. All of a sudden, I put my head down and everything should go full speed. I have been in the film room all day trying to perfect my craft and I think that is what is giving me that confidence to go out there.”

Robertson’s interception was one of four interceptions the Trojans had on Saturday.

“It’s really us just having fun, especially starting with Georgia Southern,” Robertson said. “You could really tell by the first drive that the defense was out there having fun. Even when we did mess up here and there, we picked our heads up and the next play we were right back doing what we needed to do.”

Robertson, along with fellow linebacker Carlton Martial combined for 15 tackles and three interceptions. Martial had two interceptions one of which he returned for a touchdown.

“Martial is my big little brother. We have great on and off the field chemistry. We can communicate even without communicating, if that makes sense. 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. Him and me have a lot of fun out there.”

Both linebackers will best tested in the next two weeks. The Trojans will be going up against two of the best offenses in the Sun Belt Conference in Louisiana and Appalachian State.

“It’s two heavyweight fights,” Robertson said. “Both of them have huge weapons on both sides of the ball. The next two weeks can really show how much we have grown this year and what we can do next year.”