Trojans dominate Sun Belt postseason honors

Published 10:37 am Thursday, December 1, 2022

The Sun Belt Conference announced its annual All-Sun Belt and yearly awards on Thursday with head coach Jon Sumrall taking Sun Belt Coach of the Year and senior linebacker Carlton Martial capturing Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year.

Martial broke the NCAA’s FBS career tackle record – along with Troy and the Sun Belt’s tackle record – this season, while Sumrall has guided Troy to its first 10-win season since 2018 and an appearance in the Sun Belt Championship Game for the first time in school history.

Sumrall has guided a turnaround at Troy that has seen the Troy go from three straight losing seasons to a 10-win season, a return to a bowl game and a chance to host the Sun Belt Championship for the first time in school history.

TJ Jackson (98) has been a force for the Trojan pass rush in 2022. (Photo courtesy of Troy University Athletics)

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A total of 13 Trojans earned All-Sun Belt honors, as well. Martial (112 tackles, 3 TFL, 0.5 sack, 1 INT) earned All-Sun Belt First-Team honors along with five other Trojans. Offensive tackle Austin Stidham, center Jake Andrews, defensive tackle Will Choloh (38 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks), defensive end TJ Jackson (52 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 8 sacks) and cornerback Reddy Steward (55 tackles, 1 TFL, 3 INT, 1 TD, 7 PBU) joined Martial on the All-Sun Belt First-Team.

Bandit Richard Jibunor (37 tackles, 10 TFL, 6.5 sacks) and running back Kimani Vidal (189 carries, 1,039 yards, 9 TD) earned second-team honors, while bandit Javon Solomon (43 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks) earned a third-team selection. Linebacker KJ Robertson, receiver Tez Johnson (49 catches, 764 yards, 4 TD), safety Dell Pettus (50 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 2 PBU) and safety Craig Slocum Jr. (89 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 1 INT) also earned honorable mention, as well.

Coastal Carolina’s Grayson McCall won Sun Belt Player of the Year, while James Madison’s Todd Centeio captured Offensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year and Coastal Carolina’s Jared Brown won Freshman of the Year.