MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – “They joke I have to talk to the media now and I’m big time, but I’m the same old Carlton. I won’t change,” said Troy linebacker Carlton Martial.
Former McGill-Toolen linebacker Carlton Martial is turning heads at Troy.
“It’s been a long journey from coming here as a walk-on. I just wanted to get on the field anyway to help the team. Coach Neal Brown gave me my chance and I never looked back,” said Martial.
From walk-on to standout linebacker. Martial has garnered national attention this offseason.
“I’ve been getting calls from everyone telling me congratulations,” said Martial.
The linebacker was named a preseason All-American and named to the Bednarik, Butkus and Bronko Nagurski Award Watch Lists.
“Being me, I don’t like to think about that stuff. It’s an amazing accomplishment but I like to keep my head down and work. I want to look back when the season is over and reflect, for now I want to put something on the field to prove I’m worthy of those awards,” said Martial.
The offseason accolades are well deserved. Last season, Martial became the first underclassman in the last 20 years to record at least 100 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and three interceptions at the FBS level. He also finished last season as the nation’s active leader in forced fumbles per game.
He’s put his name in the conversation as one of the best defenders in the country, yet he still plays with a chip on his shoulder.
“I like to use my height to my advantage. I like to play with a chip on my shoulder because I have that much more to prove,” said Martial.