Martial finishes season as an All-American

Published 7:24 pm Monday, December 2, 2019

Troy linebacker Carlton Martial put an exclamation point on what was another strong season in 2019.

Martial finished the final game of the season with 13 tackles. It marked the seventh time this season the sophomore finished a game with double-digit tackles.

On Monday, Martial was named to the Pro Football Focus All-America Second Team. Just a sophomore, Martial has now earned All-American honors in each of his two seasons at Troy.

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Martial finished the season with 126 total tackles, good enough for seventh most in the country.  Martial also finished with 18.5 tackles for loss (eight best), four sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles.

Martial is the only player in the country to rank in the top ten in both tackles and tackles for loss.

Martial has been looked upon as a defensive playmaker since assuming the starting role last season. Following Troy’s loss on Friday, Martial voiced his intentions of becoming more of a leader heading into the offseason.

“Carlton came up to me on the sideline and told me how he was going to become a key leader for us,” head coach Chip Lindsey said. “He’s a guy who came here as a walk-on and turned himself into a Freshman All-American.”

“I’m a sophomore on the field and a junior in the classroom,” Martial said. “I have some years left with my boys. I just have to step up as a leader and tell myself I can’t let little things slide again. I have to step up and be a leader again.”

One area of improvement would be film study, according to coach Lindsey. For Martial, he hopes to continue to learn the defense.

“I want to know what the entire defense is doing behind me so I know where I have to line up,” Martial said. “I want to keep working on my stamina and my conditioning.”

Martial becomes the third All-American in Troy’s FBS history. He joins Leodis McKelvin and Marcus Jones. Martial however, becomes Troy’s first defensive player to earn All-American honors – the other two earned their honors on special teams.

Despite all of his success this season, Martial summed up the 2019 season in just two words.

“Learning experience,” Martial said.

Martial will be one key cog returning on the defensive line, joining Will Choloh and KJ Robertson.

“He (Martial) and Will Choloh form a strong (group) coming back,” Lindsey said. “Then you mix in guys like KJ Robertson and a few others who were hurt or transferred in, and our team will look different next year and will have a chance to be really good.”

Martial, on Friday, refused to look too far into the future. He is focusing on correcting this year’s mistakes heading into the offseason.

“I don’t want to look to next season right now,” Martial said. “We need to put this to bed tomorrow. As for next season, we see what we need to do and the problems we had this year can’t happen again.”