University of Dayton cornerback Christian Searles has signed with the Washington Redskins a nondrafted free agent and will take part in the team’s upcoming rookie mini-camp.
A senior from Chicago, Searles is the only player in the 25-year history of the Pioneer Football League to earn five First Team All-PFL honors (cornerback in 2015, 2016, and 2017 and kick returner in 2015 and 2017).
Despite being avoided by opposing quarterbacks on a regular basis, Searles still tied for the conference lead in passes broken up (11) in 2017. Searles also led UD in fumbles forced (2), was third in solo tackles (42) and was fifth in total tackles (58). He was Dayton’s White Allen MVP this season.
Searles, who was also named the Pioneer Football League Special Teams Player of the Year, was also Dayton’s special teams captain this season. He ranked seventh in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision with 825 combined kick return yards in 2017. He was second in the PFL in both kickoff return average (23.8, behind San Diego’s Emilio Martinez) and punt return average (7.8, behind Campbell’s Jaquan Brooks).
A total of three Flyers, all cornerbacks as it turns out, have signed with NFL teams in the last five years. Searles joins Kyle Sebetic and Cameron Stubbs as NFL free agent signees.