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June 2018
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‘College Football’ Articles

Dayton Football adds 26-man recruiting class to 2018 roster; Season opener Sept. 1 vs. Robert Morris




16 Captains & 21 All-Conference Performers Are Among The Group

DAYTON – When the University of Dayton football team reports to preseason camp on August 5, Flyer coach Rick Chamberlin will welcome 26 new players to the program.


The 2018 class is another example of the program’s commitment to success on the field and in the classroom.  As a group, they combined for 21 All-Conference selections, more than 14 All-Area/District/Region/County selections, six All-State selections and four were on state championship teams (two were two-time state champs). Of the 26 new Flyers, 16 were team captains (four were multiple-sport captains).  Speaking of multiple sports, 13 lettered in at least two sports in high school.


In the classroom, the Class of 2022 had a combined 3.50 GPA and averaged 27 on the ACT.  Among their projected majors are seven in the School of Business (including four economics majors), six in the School of Engineering, and individual courses of study in pre-med, exercise science, computer science, biology, physical therapy and pre-dentistry.


As a group, they come to the Hilltop from nine states:  California, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin.


2018 Flyer Football Freshmen

·         Jack Albers, QB, 6-0, 180, Louisville, Ky. (St. Xavier)

·         Sam Broom, DB, 5-11, 170, Charlotte, N.C. (Charlotte Catholic)

·         Jack Chisholm RB, 5-9, 185, Union, Ky. (Ryle)

·         Michael Drobnick, WR, 6-0, 195, Valley View, Ohio (St. Ignatius)

·         Joe Durham, DE, 6-3, 225, Cincinnati, Ohio (Fenwick)

·         Grant Dyer, LB, 6-1, 215, Crescent Spring, Ky. (Covington Catholic)

·         Kyle Finnick, DT, 6-2, 270, Simi Valley, Calif. (Bishop Alemany)

·         Martin Geary, OL, 6-2, 270, Chicago, Ill. (Loyola Academy)

·         Nathan Grey, OL, 6-4, 275, Dayton, Ohio (Alter)

·         Jack Gewinner, DT, 6-2, 250, St. Louis, Mo. (DeSmet Jesuit)

·         Logan Hannah, DE, 6-1, 240, Springboro, Ohio (Valley View)

·         Khalis Hicks, DB, 5-8, 170, Mason, Ohio (Sycamore)

·         Christian Kelly, DB, 5-8, 165, Cincinnati, Ohio (Sycamore)

·         Cullen Krombach, OL, 6-1, 270, Westerville, Ohio (St. Francis de Sales)

·         Jonny Krone, WR, 5-11, 180, Wentzville, Mo. (Francis Howell)

·         Jake Lyons, DT, 6-2, 245, Springfield, Ohio (Catholic Central)

·         Danny Meehan, LB, 6-2, 215, Orland Park, Ill. (Marist)

·         Luke Ricobene, WR, 5-11, 170, Elmhurst, Ill. (Immaculate Conception)

·         Zach Rumpke, LB, 6-0, 200, Cincinnati, Ohio (La Salle)

·         Owen Smith, DB, 5-11, 185, Piqua, Ohio (Lehman Catholic)

·         Michael Stodola, DT, 6-1, 245, Barrington, Ill. (Barrington)

·         Josh Trautman, OL, 6-3, 285, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Central Catholic)

·         Andrew Uhls, DE, 6-3, 240, Louisville, Ky. (St. Xavier)

·         Joey Verdes, WR, 6-1, 175, Delaware, Ohio (Buckeye Valley)

·         Matt Young, TE, 6-1, 220, Dearborn, Mich. (Detroit Central Catholic)

·         Mason Ziegenfuss, DB, 6-2, 196, Chardon, Ohio (Chardon)


Dayton returns 17 starters – nine from the offense, six from the defensive side of the ball, and both kicking specialists.  Among them are eight All-PFL performers:  punter Sean Smith, running back Tucker Yinger, offensive tackle Ben Gauthier, tight end Adam Trautman, quarterback Alex Jeske, safety David Leisring, defensive end Nick Surges and long snapper/wide receiver Matt Tunnacliffe.


UD opens the season on Saturday, Sept. 1 against Robert Morris at Welcome Stadium.  Game time is 1 p.m. ET.  For ticket information, please visit


Dayton Flyers CB/KR Christian Searles signs as Non-Drafted Free Agent by Washington Redskins



Christian Searles


ASHBURN, Va. – 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.


Christian Searles running the football vs. Duquesne (courtesy Dayton)


Dayton Football wraps up Spring with Red defeating White, 14-13



Gauthier & Surges Named 2018 Team Captains Before Pre-Game Coin Toss






DAYTON – Two Will Bobek-to-Ryan Skibinski touchdown passes in the final 36 seconds of the second quarter were enough to give the Red team a 14-13 over White Sunday afternoon in an abbreviated spring game for the University of Dayton football team.  With the game being played in an increasingly steady downpour and more expected on the way, the game was called at halftime.


Everyone in attendance, except for the members of the White team, concurred with that decision.


“It was starting to rain even harder, so for the safety of the players and for the fans in attendance, we decided to cut it short,” head coach Rick Chamberlin said. “We were able to run 53 plays and I believe almost everyone had a chance to see some action so we accomplished what we wanted to today.”


As is the tradition at UD’s Spring Game, the next season’s team captains were announced at the pre-game coin flip.  Rising senior offensive tackle Ben Gauthier and redshirt senior defensive end Nick Surges were named 2018 team captains.  Team captains are voted on by the team after the last spring practice, and results are kept secret until Sunday’s coin flip.


Gauthier will be entering his fourth season as a starter in 2018.  He started all 12 games at guard as a true freshman on UD’s 2015 playoff team, moved to tackle as a sophomore and started 10 of the 11 games he played and then started all 11 games at tackle last year.


Hailing from Avon, Ohio near Cleveland, Gauthier played on a state championship team at St. Edward High School.  He won Dayton’s Stan Kurdziel Most Valuable Lineman Award in 2017.  He has earned All-Pioneer Football League honors the last two years.  Gauthier is also a three-time member of the PFL Academic Honor Roll.


Surges is a captain for the second consecutive season.  He has also received All-PFL recognition the last two seasons and has been on the PFL Academic Honor Roll the last three years.


In 2017, he started all 11 games and was in on 49 tackles. He was the 2017 winner of UD’s Emil Karas Award for inspirational leadership.  The Flyer spring fitness champion is from the Chicago area. He played at Benet Academy, and is from Naperville.


Just before the opening kickoff, the coaches’ choice for special teams captain was also announced.  Matt Tunnacliffe, a rising senior who is UD’s long snapper and also plays on the kickoff return teams was selected. Tunnacliffe also started every game at wideout for the Flyers in 2017.  He was Honorable Mention All-PFL, and also won two coveted team awards – the Lt. Andy Zulli Trophy for character and the A.J. Cohen Flyer of the Year Award for attitude.  He is from the Cincinnati suburb of West Chester and played his high school ball at Fenwick.


Once the game got started the weather made it tough for the offenses to consistently move the ball.  The   game’s first TD was set up with a short field when freshman linebacker Andrew Holderer intercepted a tipped pass.  Quarterback Alex Jeske hit Kevin Bickett 23 yards to get the ball on the one-yard line, and running back Troy Vincent ran it in to give White a 7-0 lead.


Red moved the ball deep into White territory, but turned it over on downs.  Jeske led White on the only extended scoring series on the day, completing five of seven passes on the drive.  The last nine yards were a Jeske-to-Steve Fleming TD pass.  The PAT was wide left, but White led 13-0 after one quarter.


The score remained that until late in the second quarter when safety Matt Clifford intercepted a pass to give Red the ball on the White 36.  Bobek hit Skibinski in the end zone to make score 13-7.  After White was unable to convert on fourth down, Red maybe had time to run two plays with 11 seconds to with the ball on the White 33-yard line.    They didn’t need to run two plays as Bobek hit Skibinski on a crossing pattern at the 20, and Skibinski out-ran two defenders to the pylon for his second TD.


Redshirt sophomore kicker Joseph Bruni lined up to not only give Red the lead, but to also personally atone for his previous miss.  Because the kickers and punters were playing for both teams, it was simply his turn to kick, and as the rain came down as hard as it had all day, he nailed it to make the final score 14-13 in favor of Red.


Following the game, the team moved indoors and members of the 2018 recruiting class in attendance were paired with their “Big Brother.”  Each incoming freshman is paired with an upperclassman who helps them adjust to college football heading into their first season on campus.


“It was a really good way to wrap up our spring,” Chamberlin said.  ”We’ve had a competitive spring, and we had some good plays on both sides today.”


UD opens the season on Saturday, Sept. 1 against Robert Morris at Welcome Stadium.  Game time is 1 p.m. ET.



OSU’s Barrett awarded Pat Tillman Award at 2018 East-West Shrine Game

J.T. Barrett FTB

Jan. 19, 2018


Each year, the East-West Shrine Game presents the Pat Tillman Award to recognize the player who best exemplifies intelligence, sportsmanship, and service. The award celebrates a student athlete’s achievements and conduct on and off the football field. The 2018 recipient is Ohio State quarterback, J.T. Barrett.

A Texas native, Barrett capped an outstanding four-year career with the Buckeyes by leading the team to its second Big Ten title in his four years as a starting quarterback in 2017 and to a Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic victory over USC. The only three-time captain in school history, Barrett started 44 games in his Ohio State career and set the school record with 38 victories, set a total of 39 Ohio State (34) or Big Ten Conference (five) records, including some of the most prestigious for a quarterback. He was responsible for 147 passing and rushing touchdowns to rank fourth in NCAA history in that category, and was a Top 10 vote-getter in the Heisman Trophy race twice, including finishing fifth in 2014.

Barrett started his Shrine Game experience with a visit to Shriners Hospitals for Children-Tampa where he played with patients on the basketball court, pushing them on swings, taking photos and signing autographs. He spent the week practicing with his teammates under East head coach Jonathan Hayes, tight ends coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.

“It is an honor to receive this award that holds Pat Tillman’s name,” said Barrett. “The people that he impacted during his career and the sacrifice he made says a lot about the kind of man he was.”




Current 2017 North Coast Athletic Conference Football Standings

Wittenberg 9-0 8-0
DePauw 8-1 7-1
Wabash 7-2 6-2
Denison 6-3 5-3
Wooster 6-3 5-3
Ohio Wesleyan 4-5 4-4
Allegheny 3-6 2-6
Oberlin 3-6 2-6
Hiram 2-7 1-7
Kenyon 0-9 0-8


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