Former Ashland University running back Carlin Isles has signed a contract with the NFL's Detroit Lions. Isles was signed as a wide receiver and assigned to the practice squad this week. He takes the place of tight end Dorin Dickerson, who suffered a concussion last week against the New York Giants.
Recently, Isles made a name for himself playing United States Rugby seven teams. He's billed as one of the fastest rugby players in the United States.
Isles played football and ran track and field for the Eagles. He played football for two seasons - 2008 and 2009. Against Findlay in 2008 he set the school, single-game record for kickoff return yards (174). Isles also owns the school record for the longest kickoff return - 100 yards against Saginaw Valley State in 2009.
Throughout his career, Isles terrorized opponents as a kick returner. In 2008, he returned 25 kickoffs for 526 yards (21.0 ypr.). In the final game of that season, he returned a kickoff for a touchdown against Findlay. That touchdown wrapped up a back-and-forth game against the Oilers and set the Eagles to the NCAA Division II playoffs.
That same season, Isles rushed for 263 yards and averaged 5.8 ypc.
In 2009 Isles returned 28 kickoffs for 655 yards (23.4 ypr.) with a pair of touchdowns. He rushed for 43 yards and caught six passes and averaged 19.3 ypc.
The Lions have been eliminated from playoff contention. Detroit ends the season this Sunday at Minnesota.
Isles is one of two former AU players now on an NFL roster. Former defensive lineman Jeris Pendleton is on the 53-man roster of the Indianapolis Colts.