Two former William & Mary football players signed on with NFL teams over the weekend. Free safety DeAndre Houston-Carson was selected by the Chicago Bears with the 185th overall pick in the sixth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday afternoon, and linebacker Luke Rhodes signed a free-agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Additionally, Christian Reeves received a rookie mini-camp invite from the Kansas City Chiefs.
Houston-Carson and Rhodes join a group of six former Tribe standouts who are currently on NFL rosters: Jerome Couplin III (Philadelphia Eagles), Jonathan Grimes (Houston Texans), Sean Lissemore (San Diego Chargers), Tre McBride (Tennessee Titans), Mike Reilly (Arizona Cardinals) and B.W. Webb (Tennessee Titans).
Houston-Carson is the sixth Tribe player selected in NFL Draft since 2009, which leads the Colonial Athletic Association and ranks third among programs in Virginia, trailing only Virginia and Virginia Tech.
After concluding a prolific collegiate career with the Tribe in 2015, Houston-Carson participated in the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine this winter.
A consensus Football Championship Subdivision first-team All-American (Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, STATS, Walter Camp, College Sporting News), Houston-Carson effectively transitioned from an all-league cornerback to one of the country's top free safeties this season. A finalist for the 2015 STATS FCS National Defensive Player of the Year award, the Woodford, Virginia, native was honored as the Colonial Athletic Association co-Defensive Player of the Year and was one of three finalists for the Dudley Award. Additionally, he was honored as the state's defensive player of the year by the Virginia Sports Information Directors.
The first-team all-conference selection led W&M in tackles (109) and ranked first in the league in tackles per game among defensive backs (8.4). Additionally, he tied for second in the CAA in interceptions (four) and interception return yards (124). A two-time CAA Special Teams Player of the Week, he has also posted a pair of blocks.
Houston-Carson's career stats include 293 tackles, 10 interceptions and nine blocks.
One of the nation's elite linebackers during the past few seasons, Rhodes is a three-time, first-team, All-CAA selection and was the lone Football Championship Subdivision player selected to the 2015 Butkus Award Watch List.
In addition to earning 45 career starts, Rhodes finished his collegiate career with 341 tackles, which ranks fifth on W&M's all-time list. Additionally, he is one of just 11 Tribe players to be named a two-time team captain in the program's 122-year history.
In addition to excelling against FCS competition, Rhodes performed extremely well versus Football Bowl Subdivision opponents during his career and has averaged 8.5 tackles per game with 2.5 TFL and a forced fumble in contests against Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Maryland.
Following his outstanding collegiate career with W&M, Rhodes was invited to play in the 2016 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.