Ultiworld’s 2021 Block Of The Year: Liam Searles-Bohs

People love a dramatic callahan.

North Carolina's Liam Searles-Bohs after winning the 2021 D-I College national championship.
North Carolina’s Liam Searles-Bohs after winning the 2021 D-I College national championship. Photo: William ‘Brody’ Brotman — UltiPhotos.com

One of our most popular series each year, it’s time to look back at last year and let our readers decide some of the top plays of the year.

First up this year is our Block of the Year bracket. We watched many hours of game footage and highlight reels to hunt down the best defensive plays we could find; believe us, there were more than enough options to fill up this bracket, so even some worthy nominees were left on the cutting room floor. Over the past week or so, we’ve invited you, Ultiworld readers, to vote for your favorite of the finalists selected. And after that, you’ve chosen the winner.

Liam Searles-Bohs – North Carolina Darkside (USAU College)

Liam Searles-Bohs

Dominance was perhaps a theme for Liam Searles-Bohs in 2021. His North Carolina team bullrushed their division to win the 2021 D-I College national championship. He earned an All-American selection during the campaign. He added that to a club championship from a couple of months prior. And now not only did he win the 2021 Catch of the Year, but it wasn’t even close.

In the first round, he won with 66% of the vote. In the second, that grew to 80%. In the final, he conquered the opposition with 75% of the vote. It was meant to be.

And who wants to argue with this one? LSB’s quarterfinal callahan canned Colorado, who was once pegged as the number one contender in the field for UNC. Searles-Bohs sized up the play accurately, plotting and planning on the wing in the zone and timing his strike perfectly. He didn’t even realize what he’d done.

“I was excited, but did not really realize I laid out, just felt like I reached out and grabbed it then fell because of the momentum,” said Searles-Bohs. “I was mostly just excited to make the play my team needed in a big moment.”

He’s mostly been known for his offensive prowess, which earned him the 2019 D-I Offensive Player of the Year award. But this year’s he’s gotten more run on defensive units, where’s he flashed some game-changing skills.

“This is really the first time in my career that I have gotten consistent D-line reps,” said Searles-Bohs, who has been playing for about 11 years. “I’ve been a career O-liner and pushed hard to be given a shot on Ring’s defense, especially with adding Ryan [Osgar]. I’ve enjoyed re-inventing myself as a player and getting to focus on new things.”

Those new things have meant consuming plenty of tape of former North Carolina defensive star Ben Snell, current UNC Pleaides block-getter Dawn Culton — whom was the finalist opposite LSB in this very bracket — and taking cues from the likes of Matt Gouchoe-Hanas. Searles-Bohs credits all of them with influencing his blossoming defensive game.

He also said it’s just the second callahan of his career. The last one was in middle school. “I usually think it’s a little risky to apply that much under pressure in the attaching end zone,” said Searles-Bohs. “I don’t expect to ever do it again, although I hope to!”

  1. Keith Raynor
    Keith Raynor

    Keith Raynor is a Senior Editor and the Business Development Manager at Ultiworld. He co-hosts our Deep Look podcast and does play-by-play and color commentary. He coaches UConn Rise, the college's women's team. You can reach him by email (keith@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@FullFieldHammer).

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