Martial signs with CFL’s Tiger-Cats

Published 9:31 am Tuesday, May 16, 2023

The NCAA’s all-time tackles leader, Carlton Martial, signed with the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Monday.

After going undrafted in the 2023 NFL Draft, Martial became the second Troy Trojan to sign with the CFL this offseason after quarterback Jarret Doege signed with the Edmonton Elks back in April.

Martial’s Troy career will go down as one of the best in the school’s rich football tradition. His list of accolades includes being a former Freshman All-American, three-time All-American, four-time All-Sun Belt, two-time Burlsworth Trophy finalist, the 2023 Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time Trojan Tribute Male Athlete of the Year. He also ended his Troy career as the NCAA’s all-time leading tackler, along with being the Sun Belt and Troy University’s all-time leading tackler.

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The Mobile native totaled 577 tackles, 50.5 tackles-for-loss, 10.5 sacks, six interceptions, 15 pass breakups, eight forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one defensive touchdown in his career as a Trojan.

Carlton Martial (2) set the NCAA tackle record against Army. (Photo by Henry Otto/Creative Media Images)

Troy’s history with the CFL is fairly deep and Martial will be following the path of another former walk-on turned all-conference linebacker in Bear Woods. Woods started his Troy career as a walk-on before becoming one of the top linebackers in the Sun Belt. After a brief stint in the NFL, Woods signed with the CFL and went on to play for 10 years in the league. He earned All-Star honors twice, won a Grey Cup in 2017 and was awarded the James P. McCaffrey Trophy, as the East Division’s Defensive Player of the Year, twice.

Currently, the CFL’s ranks also includes former Troy receiver Chandler Worthy, who was one of the league’s top kick returners last season.

Before coming to Troy, Martial was a standout linebacker at McGill-Toolen High School in Mobile, earning all-state honors as both a junior and senior. After redshirting at Troy as a freshman, Martial earned a scholarship with the Trojans. He rewarded Troy by turning in 126 tackles, 18.5 tackles-for-loss, four sacks and three interceptions in 2019. This past season, Martial’s dominance continued as he broke the Troy, Sun Belt and NCAA’s all-time tackles record for a career. He did so while collecting more than 20 tackles in Troy’s win over Army. During his Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year season, Martial tallied a career-high 135 tackles, 3.5 tackles-for-loss, one sack and one interception.

The CFL started training camp for the upcoming season this past weekend, so Martial will hit the ground running early. The CFL opens the regular season on June 8.