Former Pioneer selected by XFL's Houston Roughnecks

Former Pioneer selected by XFL's Houston Roughnecks

HOUSTON, Texas --- Former Tusculum University defensive end Caushaud Lyons was selected by the Houston Roughnecks in the ninth round of the 2019 XFL Draft.

Lyons, a 6-5, 285-pounder from Ellenwood, Georgia, was a consensus NCAA Division II All-American during his playing career at Tusculum from 2011-2014.  

Since then he has been a journeyman in the National Football League where he has been with several organizations including: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2015), Pittsburgh Steelers (2015-2016), Tennessee Titans (2017), Los Angeles Rams (2017), Detroit Lions (2017), Chicago Bears (2017), Minnesota Vikings (2017), Washington Redskins (2018) and the Denver Broncos (2018-2019).  He also served within the Hamilton Tiger-Cats organization of the Canadian Football League in 2019.

In 2014, Lyons accounted for one of the finest seasons ever by a Tusculum defensive lineman. He led the Pioneers with 89 tackles, which are a new program single-season record for a defensive lineman. Of those stops, 19 were for loss, which are the second most in TU history and most by a Pioneer lineman. His 1.5 tackles for loss per game average led the South Atlantic Conference and were 40th in the country.

The 2014 consensus All-Region pick averaged 8.1 tackles per game, which are most in the South Atlantic Conference and Super Region 2 for defensive linemen and fourth most in the nation (NCAA II). His 8.1 tackles for loss are third in the league overall. The All-SAC first team selection also averaged 0.77 sacks per contest, which is second in the conference and 38th in NCAA II.

In 2014, he recorded 10 or more tackles on four occasions, including a career-high 15 stops against Carson-Newman. A week later, he posted seven tackles, including four for loss and two sacks in Tusculum's 14-10 road win at Wingate. Against the Bulldogs, he made five quarterback hurries and broke up a pass. He was named the SAC Defensive Player of the Week and the Tennessee Sports Writers Association College Player of the Week.

Lyons wrapped up his collegiate career with 181 tackles, which are a Tusculum record for a defensive lineman. His 28 career tackles for loss are 10th in school history and second most by a TU lineman. His 13 career sacks are tied for seventh in program history (3rd for defensive lineman). He was credited for two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and four passes defended, including an interception.

Lyons finished one of eight national finalists for the 2014 Gene Upshaw Award, which recognizes the top NCAA Division II lineman in the country. He was also national finalist for the Cliff Harris Award, which honors the top small college defensive player of the year for NCAA Division II, Division III and NAIA.

Houston is one of eight teams in the revamped XFL and the 2020 schedule will be announced later this month.