Steward, Sumrall receive SBC honors

North Alabama natives named All-Conference, Coach of the Year
Troy Football Beats Arkansas State to clinch Sun Belt Conference Championship berth
Troy Football Beats Arkansas State to clinch Sun Belt Conference Championship berth(Troy Athletics)
Updated: Dec. 2, 2022 at 9:13 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Troy senior linebacker Carlton Martial and head coach Jon Sumrall took home two of the Sun Belt’s top honors and thirteen Trojans earned All-Sun Belt honors, including a league-high six first team selections, the league office announced Thursday.

Martial, the NCAA’s all-time leading tackler at the FBS level, was named the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year, while Sumrall took home Coach of the Year honors. Martial becomes Troy’s third SBC Defensive Player of the Year, joining DeMarcus Ware (2004) and Rashad Dillard (2016), while Sumrall’s honor is Troy’s fourth in the Sun Belt along with Larry Blakeney (2008, 2009) and Neal Brown (2017).

Joining Martial on the first team were offensive linemen Jake Andrews and Austin Stidham, defensive linemen Will Choloh and T.J. Jackson, and Decatur native and defensive back Reddy Steward.

Troy was represented by defensive lineman Richard Jibunor and running back Kimani Vidal on the second team, while defensive lineman Javon Solomon was a third team selection. In addition, linebacker KJ Robertson, receiver Tez Johnson plus safeties Dell Pettus and Craig Slocum were honorable mention selections.

A native of Mobile, Ala., Martial earned four Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week honors this season as he set both the Sun Belt and NCAA FBS career tackle records during the year. Troy posted a 9-1 record in games he played, and Martial is again a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy; the nation’s top player who began his career as a walk-on.

Martial enters Troy’s Sun Belt Championship Game match-up on Saturday, ranked second in the country averaging 11.2 tackles per game despite missing the equivalate of a full game after not playing the second half in a pair of contents. He had a pair of games with 18-plus tackles this season, including a 22-tackle effort against Army to set the NCAA tackles record.

Martial becomes the first offensive or defensive player to become four-time All-Sun Belt First Team selection in league history after earning the honor in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 – FIU’s T.Y. Hilton did it as a kick returner.

Huntsville native Jon Sumrall has guided the Trojans to one of their best seasons in school history with a 10-2 overall record and 7-1 mark in the Sun Belt. It’s just Troy’s fourth 10-win season at the FBS level, and the Trojans enter the Sun Belt Championship Game with the program’s longest winning streak since 1999 at nine straight games.

A defensive-minded coach, Sumrall’s Trojans have allowed the fifth-fewest points in league history (202) and the fifth-fewest touchdowns (24). Troy was picked to finish third in the Sun Belt West Division and did not receive a single first-place vote in the preseason poll by the league’s head coaches.

2022 SUN BELT CONFERENCE FOOTBALL POSTSEASON AWARDS

Player of the Year

Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina

Offensive Player of the Year

Todd Centeio, James Madison

Defensive Player of the Year

Carlton Martial, Troy

Newcomer of the Year

Todd Centeio, James Madison

Freshman of the Year

Jared Brown, Coastal Carolina

Coach of the Year

Jon Sumrall, Troy

All-Sun Belt First Team Offense

QB – Grayson McCall, Coastal CarolinaRB – Khalan Laborn, Marshall

RB – La’Damian Webb, South Alabama

OL – Cooper Hodges, App State

OL – Austin Stidham, Troy

OL – Willie Lampkin, Coastal Carolina

OL – Jake Andrews, Troy

OL – Anderson Hardy, App State

TE – Seydou Traore, Arkansas State

WR – Jamari Thrash, Georgia State

WR – Kris Thornton, James Madison

WR – Ali Jennings III, Old Dominion

All-Sun Belt First Team Defense

DL – T.J. Jackson, Troy

DL – Zi’Yon Hill-Green, Louisiana

DL – Owen Porter, Marshall

DL – Will Choloh, Troy

DL – Isaac Ukwu, James Madison

LB – Carlton Martial, Troy

LB – Jason Henderson, Old Dominion

LB – Nick Hampton, App State

DB – Yam Banks, South Alabama

DB – Micah Abraham, Marshall

DB – Reddy Steward, Troy

DB – Bralen Trahan, Louisiana

All-Sun Belt First Team Special Teams

K – Dominic Zvada, Arkansas State

P – Rhys Burns, Louisiana

RS – Eric Garror, Louisiana

AP – Frank Gore Jr., Southern Miss

All-Sun Belt Second Team Offense

QB – Todd Centeio, James Madison

RB – Kimani Vidal, Troy

RB – Frank Gore Jr., Southern Miss

OL – Khalil Crowder, Georgia Southern

OL – Pat Bartlett, Georgia State

OL – Nick Saldiveri, Old Dominion

OL – Malik Sumter, Georgia State

OL – Nick Kidwell, James Madison

TE – Henry Pearson, App State

WR – Jalen Wayne, South Alabama

WR – Tyrone Howell, ULM

WR – Khaleb Hood, Georgia Southern

All-Sun Belt Second Team Defense

DL – Levi Bell, Texas State

DL – James Carpenter, James Madison

DL – Richard Jibunor, Troy

DL – Jamare Edwards, James Madison

DL – Josaiah Stewart, Coastal Carolina

LB – Marques Watson-Trent, Georgia Southern

LB – Andre Jones, Louisiana

LB – Jourdan Quibodeaux, Louisiana

DB – Steven Jones Jr., App State

DB – Quavian White, Georgia State

DB – Steven Gilmore, Marshall

DB – Lance Boykin, Coastal Carolina

All-Sun Belt Second Team Special Teams

K – Diego Guajardo, South Alabama

P – Devyn McCormick, ULM

RS – Johnnie Lang Jr., Arkansas State

AP – Johnnie Lang Jr., Arkansas State

All-Sun Belt Third Team Offense

QB – Kyle Vantrease, Georgia Southern

RB – Percy Agyei-Obese, James Madison

RB – Jalen White, Georgia Southern

OL – James Jackson, South Alabama

OL – Kyle Hergel, Texas State

OL – Caleb Kelly, Georgia Southern

OL – Isaiah Helms, App State

OL – Antwine Loper, Coastal Carolina

TE – Jacob Jenkins, Coastal Carolina

WR – Jason Brownlee, Southern Miss

WR – Sam Pinckney, Coastal Carolina

WR – Michael Jefferson, Louisiana

All-Sun Belt Third Team Defense

DL – Kivon Bennett, Arkansas State

DL – Jerrod Clark, Coastal Carolina

DL – Justin Ellis, Georgia Southern

DL – Javon Solomon, Troy

LB – Taurus Jones, James Madison

LB – JT Killen, Coastal Carolina

LB – Santrell Latham, Southern Miss

DB – Jay Stanley, Southern Miss

DB – Malik Shorts, Southern Miss

DB – Darrell Luter Jr., South Alabama

DB – Antavious Lane, Georgia State

DB – Derrick Canteen, Georgia Southern

All-Sun Belt Third Team Special Teams

K – Briggs Bourgeois, Southern Miss

P – Mason Hunt, Southern Miss

RS – Milan Tucker, App State

AP – La’Damian Webb, South Alabama

Honorable Mention (Troy Players Only)

KJ Robertson (LB), Tez Johnson (WR), Dell Pettus (S), Craig Slocum (S)