Football Troy Athletics Communications
TROY, Ala. – Troy linebacker Carlton Martial has been named one of three finalists for the Burlsworth Trophy, the Burlsworth Trust announced Tuesday. Martial is joined by Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett and Arkansas linebacker Grant Morgan as the finalists for the award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top player who began his career as a walk-on.
A native of Mobile, Ala., Martial is one of just two players at the FBS level to record more than 400 tackles, 45 tackles for loss and five interceptions in their career – he enters the weekend with 417 tackles, 46 tackles for loss and five interceptions.
Martial came to Troy with no FBS offers and just a handful of FCS and Division II offers, but since that time has become the most dynamic tackler in college football. His 417 tackles since the start of the 2018 season are 57 more than any other FBS player, while his 341 tackles since the start of the 2019 season are 48 more than any other FBS player.
He enters the weekend eighth nationally, averaging 10.2 tackles per game and is one of just two players in the country to have more than 100 tackles and nine tackles for loss. Martial is the nation’s active leader averaging 9.27 tackles per game in his career.
Martial is the leader on a Troy defense that ranks first nationally averaging 8.5 tackles for loss per game and is third with 3.7 sacks per contest. The Trojans are 18th in total defense (322.1), 20th in yards per play (4.94) and 28th in rushing defense (123.4).
The Burlsworth Trophy, in its 12th year, is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, a former University of Arkansas walk-on and All-American. Without one DI scholarship offer, Burlsworth walked on at Arkansas in 1994, eventually becoming a three-year starter on the offensive line and an All-American in 1998. Burlsworth was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the 63rd overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft but was tragically killed in a car accident 11 days later.
The Burlsworth Trophy award ceremony to honor the three finalists and announce the 2021 winner will occur at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6, at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Ark.