Griffin, Cedric

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Cards: 2006 Leaf Rookies & Stars. 2006 Leaf Rookies and Stars Longevity 030/199, Score 2010
Acquired: In Person 2016, Mighty Fine Burgers Battle of the Beast

Toughness defines Cedric Griffin- the UT defensive back who conquered personal odds, rose to prominence among DBUT, and then forged his career in the NFL with the Vikings and Redskins. A three year starter in the Longhorns secondary, Griffin was valued for his willingness to contribute on special teams and play any position in the secondary. Gifted with great speed, Cedric was a sure handed tackler who finished with 78 tackles in his Senior campaign.   He started 37 consecutive games for Texas, recording 267 tackles,  3 interceptions, 32 pass breakups, and 5 forced fumbles.

sco10 cgriffinCedric was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with their second round pick of the 2006 draft. The Vikings preferred Cedric play corner- a position he appeared in 89 games for the Vikings. He recovered a fumble for a TD, and had a career high 82 tackles in 2007. After the 2011 season, he was allowed to sign via free agency with the Washington Redskins. He played one season with the team and retired after the 2012 season.

I had missed out on Cedric at the UT Neighborhood Bowling Tournament back in 2011, and then later again during the 2015 Memorial Day Flood, so I was determined to finally get his autograph this time around. I went with Shawn and his wife to the Mighty Fine event, and while we sweated it out until the final moments before the event began, it all worked out when Cedric strolled through the door. He kindly signed these 3 cards for me. I would’ve penned him on a 4th but I gave the Adrenalyn card to Shawn so that he had an extra item to get signed. A really nice signature encapsulated by the bronze color, Cedric told me he that it was a great change of pace and a lot of fun playing for the Redskins.

G/GS  89/72        TAC  350          SAC 0            FUM 3
INT 8         YDS  0           AVG 0.0          TD 0           LG 4

Hurns, Allen

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Cards: Sage 2014, Sage 2014 Next Level
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o The Jacksonville Jaguars
Sent: 11/12    Received:  12/2   (23 days)

Allen Hurns has been an amazing find by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fighting his way up a decent roster of receivers and draftees, Hurns has emerged as one of young quarterback Blake Bortles consistent targets. Allen also forms with Allen Robinson to be one of the most potent duos in the league at that position.  In 2014, he played more of a split end for the Jags catching 51 passes for 677 yards and 6 TDs. He’d break the 1,000 yard barrier in 2015 on 64 receptions, while hauling in 10 TDs, including an 80 yarder in 2015.  All the more impressive, Allen also set the team record for most consecutive games with a TD reception (7).

sa14 ahurnsA track and football guy in college at The University of Miami, FL, Allen set the single-season school record with 1,162 receiving yards in 2014.  Hurns slipped through the draft unnoticed and was considered a 7th round pick or a priority free agent by many teams.  His tape really didn’t do him justice, but it didn’t help that he was running so many short to intermediate basic routes. Being so nearby to Jacksonville, it made sense that the Jaguars  take a flyer on him.
I don’t have that many Jaguars in my collection, something I’ve been slow to rectify. This is partially due to the fact that they joined the NFL after I had stopped collecting in the 90s and that they are considered a division rival. Still in the last few years, I have flirted with the Jags. I really like what they’ve done offensively to open things up in the last 2-3 years, and I make no secret that I think that Blake Bortles is one of the best QBs to come along in the last few years.  I went ahead and took a shot at Hurns and he signed and personalized these two cards in a pretty short amount of time.

Heinicke, Taylor

sage15 Heinicke

Card: Sage 2015
Acquired: Box Breaker, 2015

Taylor Heinicke turned Colonial Athletic Association Old Dominion into a contender with his arm, and  a school record 11,483 career passing yards and 102 touchdown passes.  He was also an adept runner and handled punting duties from time to time. In 2013, Taylor threw for a record 730 passing yards, which stands as a Division I record. Despite this, Taylor’s draft analysis did not stand up well, with many scouts also knocking his size.  He went unselected in the 2015 NFL draft. Although he was courted by the Falcons, Taylor felt more like he had a chance going to Minnesota.   Taylor called it, “A dream come true,” to play in the NFL and for the Vikings.  Heinike had a great camp and preseason going 27 of 41 for 279 yards and two touchdowns  in the preseason finale against the Tennessee Titans.  Comfortable with incumbent Teddy Bridgewater and Shaun Hill moving forward, Minnesota cut Christian Ponder.  While Taylor has not dressed for any games, he looks to challenge 14 year veteran Shaun Hill in the near future for the backup job.

Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.