Reddy Steward embracing role as leader on Troy defense

Published 12:02 pm Thursday, April 6, 2023

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Troy senior cornerback Reddy Steward is one of the Trojans’ top returning defenders this season and is embracing his role as a leader in the secondary.

At Thursday’s spring practice, Steward showed off his play-making ability by returning an interception for a touchdown.

“Reddy is a proven player, we know what we have there,” Troy Coach Jon Sumrall said. “He’s done a really great job building upon what he did last year.”

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What Steward did last year was earn First-Team All-Sun Belt honors, his second time capturing All-Sun Belt. In 2022, Steward started all 14 games for the Trojans and tallied a career-high 63 tackles, one tackle-for-loss, three interceptions, a touchdown and 12 pass breakups. For his career, the Decatur native has 131 tackles, five tackles-for-loss, two sacks, five interceptions, two touchdowns and 28 pass breakups. Rather than pursuing the NFL Draft, Steward made the decision to return to Troy for his senior season.

Steward has taken on the No. 2 jersey worn by former All-American Carlton Martial. (Photo by Joey Meredith/Troy University Athletics)

“I feel like I can improve on some things, even though I had a good year last year,” Steward said. “I know I can do better and show more and I just wanted to come back and help the guys I’ve played with since I’ve been here. These are really like my brothers, so I wanted to play with them again honestly.”

Another plus in returning to Troy was the chance to once again play with former high school teammate Asa Martin, who transferred to Troy ahead of the spring. Martin and Steward played together at Austin High School.

“I played with him a couple of years in high school and our chemistry and everything like that is great,” Steward said. “It feels great to have him on the team. I know he’s going to go hard every play and it just makes me go harder and be more comfortable knowing he’s on the other side doing the same.”

Steward has been impressed with the things he’s seed on Martin’s side of the ball on offense this spring, as well.

Reddy Steward (18) is a two-time All-Sun Belt cornerback. (Photo courtesy of Troy University Athletics)

“It’s going good so far on both sides of the ball,” Steward said of spring practices. “I feel like the offense looks way better. They look a lot better than the offense from spring last year. On defense, it’s about playing with the new guys and learning how they play and where they’re going to be on the field.”

Steward has worn No. 11 and 18 for the entirety of his Troy career but going into his senior season he’s inherited the No. 2 jersey, worn by All-American Carlton Martrial throughout this career. That’s not something that Steward takes lightly either.

“I wore No. 2 in high school and when Carlton left they sort of passed it down to me,” said Steward. “I feel like I can represent it in a good way and go out and make plays like Carlton did and play hard like he did. I feel like it’s a representation of him.

“I feel like I have to take that on just because of the type of guy he was and the type of leader he was. He came out here every play and every game and played hard and made plays. I have to do the same thing.”

Steward and his teammates will wrap up the final week of spring practices next week ahead of the April 15 T-Day Game.