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Troy linebacker Carlton Martial is one of the best football players in the Sun Belt....but you probably wouldn't expect that at first glance.

For one, he was a walk-on. After scouting him at Alabama's high school championship game, then Troy assistant (and now current head coach) Jon Sumrall pushed the program to make room for him.

"I remember when we first signed him, I had coaches at D-II schools call me up, all angry about it." Sumrall told me. "They didn't think he'd play for us here, but I told them that I really thought he would." And he has.

Why was he a walk-on? Well, Martial doesn't exactly have the measurables of an elite college linebacker. The school lists him at just 5-9, and 210 pounds. Another Troy staffer described him to me as a "vicious bowling ball."